Chair Judge

Lesley Wan
General Counsel & Company Secretary
All Africa Capital Limited

Lesley Wan is General Counsel & Company Secretary for technology startup All Africa Capital Limited. Lesley sits on a number of external advisory boards including London Business School’s EurOut, and is the Founder and CEO of The Eagle Club, a global senior women’s leadership network with over 300 women in its membership. She is also Founder and CEO of Through the Looking Glass, a charity which provides underprivileged children with an insight into City professions and encourages them to pursue higher education. Lesley has extensive experience working as a lawyer in private practice, private equity and financial institutions in London and abroad including HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds Banking Group, SEB Bank, Bayern LB, FBN Bank, Lloyds Development Capital, A&O, Norton Rose and Russell McVeagh.

Judging Panel:

Andrew Ballheimer

Andrew Ballheimer was the Global Managing Partner of Allen & Overy LLP, retiring in late 2020. He spent over 35 years practising as a multiple award-winning M&A and capital markets lawyer, working in London, New York and Tokyo and advising multinational corporations and global financial institutions on a wide range of matters.

Following his retirement from A&O, Andrew has joined the boards of U.K. Government Investments and Factor Law Inc. He is a member of the M&A Global Advisory Board at AON PLC and a Senior Advisor at Teneo Strategy Limited. He has been a member of the U.K. Trade and Business Commission and was a trustee of Moorfields Eye Charity for 12 years. He is also a Visiting Professor.

Jeremy Barton

Jeremy Barton is a Partner at KPMG, where he advises the Chairman and CEO on strategic international matters, including M&A, governance and risk management, having recently also served as the firm’s General Counsel in the UK. His previous positions have been as both regional and global general counsel in other large international accounting and consulting organisations. Jeremy serves on a number of advisory boards in the legal sector and for five years was a European Board Member of the Association of Corporate Counsel. He enjoys biking in the Surrey Hills and running in the African bush.

Catherine Calder
Joint Chief Executive
Serjeants Inn

Catherine Calder, Joint Chief Executive at Serjeants’ Inn, draws on nearly 30 years’ experience in private practice, in-house and at the Bar, as a solicitor and in management and client relationship roles. She has worked in commercial, chancery, civil and public law. Catherine is co-chair of the Legal Practice Management Association, a Champion of the First 100 Years project and a trustee of Spark 21. She is also a member of the Bar Council’s International Committee and its Well-Being at the Bar Group and the Editorial Board of Modern Law Magazine.

Dominic Carman

Dominic Carman is a London-based freelance journalist and writer, specialising in the business of law and international law firms. His work ranges from thought leadership and report writing to digital content and media training for a range of clients including: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the European best friends of Slaughter and May, Hogan Lovells, CMS, Bird & Bird, Forsters, Fieldfisher, Sullivan & Cromwell, Lockton, Kroll, Butterfield Trust, J.P. Morgan as well as IT companies servicing the international legal market, including Fulcrum Global Technologies and Enable Business Solutions. He contributes to Legal Business, Legal Week, the Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Guardian.

Michelle Elstein
Founder & Corporate Energiser
Courageous Co.

Michelle has over twenty years of private corporate sector experience, including influential senior roles in international organisations, spanning the investment banking, legal and technology sectors, including Linklaters, Lehman Brothers, Olswang, Morrison & Foerster and Kleinwort Benson. She has successfully aligned leaders and teams to the corporate mission and transformed cultures, winning awards for campaigns that have led to increased corporate performance and employee engagement. Being a fitness enthusiast, Michelle has crossed a few finish lines along the way too. Having recovered from a traumatic cycling accident in 2015, she qualified as a personal trainer and executive coach. Blending these skills with her corporate leadership and personal resilience experience, she founded Courageous Co. to be a different kind of leadership and team performance firm. Today, Michelle and her team work with global leaders and teams to help them think and operate in ways that transform their performance. Michelle has a trademark energy that others find motivational and inspiring.

Andrew Garard
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Pennon Group plc

Andrew Garard is a very experienced global General Counsel and Company Secretary with a demonstrated history of building and leading award winning multi national teams across a range of industries.

Responsibilities have also included business continuity, risk management, health and safety, insurance, compliance, content management, regulatory and policy affairs, HR and corporate communications.

Janet Gaymer
Employment Lawyer
The Janet Gaymer Consultancy

Dame Janet Gaymer is an eminent employment lawyer, who was the Senior Partner of Simmons & Simmons, before becoming the Commissioner for Public Appointments and a Civil Service Commissioner. She is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Business Banking Resolution Service. After stepping down as Commissioner, she occupied a number of different roles in Westminster She was a Non-Executive member and then Acting Chair of the Management Board of the House of Commons; a Non-Executive member of the House of Commons Commission and Chair of the two House of Commons Audit Committees; and an independent lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. She served on the Advisory Panel for the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation conducted by Professor Stephen Mayson of University College, London, and co-chaired the Consultation Steering Panel for the Legal Services Education and Training Review

Oonagh Harpur
Independent Non Executive

Oonagh Harpur has inhabited boardrooms for over thirty years, as a serial CEO, Chair, Non Executive director and Trustee in the energy, health, financial and professional services sectors in the UK and USA. As the first non-lawyer CEO and subsequently in advisory and non exec roles she has worked with the boards of many professional services firms including Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, DLAPiper and Linklaters, and the Government Legal Department. Oonagh is an Independent Non Executive at KPMG U.K. L.L.P. and a member of its Public Interest Committee; Trustee, Scientific and Medical Network, Chair, Ethical Leadership Group and member IWFUK and Fellow, Chapter Zero.

Caroline Kenny
Associate General Counsel

Caroline Kenny has been Associate General Counsel at Facebook since 2016 and oversees Facebook’s Core App products globally including Groups, Dating, News and Search. Previously at the Financial Times, Google and RPC’s tech team, Caroline has been advising at the heart of technology and online content for over a decade. Caroline has been described as a “real live wire” in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2018 list and “a true specialist in the digital market” on the Legal 500 GC Powerlist 2019. She spends her time outside work running long distances and also around after three small boys.

Lauren Livingston
Compass Leading

Lauren Livingston is a Mastered Executive Coach and the Founder of Compass Leading, a leadership advisory and executive coaching business. Lauren coaches and trains internationally with senior professionals and aspiring leaders to become the leader they want and need to be.

Lauren brings her long track record of leadership expertise to her clients. Lauren spent over 20 years in law, 17 of which working for global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, where for over 9 years she was CVC’s longest standing and first female global General Counsel and named by a leading Magic Circle law firm as one of the pre-eminent General Counsel’s of her generation. Lauren has “walked the walk” and intimately understands the demanding dynamics of being a leading professional. Besides being a coach and lawyer, Lauren is also a mother, Trustee of Power2, speaker and writer.

Ian Moyler
Principal Consultant
Prosperant LLP

Ian was for 32 years at Brick Court Chambers, 22 years as Senior Clerk. Ian was responsible He has Litigation market knowledge and contacts in the areas of International Arbitration, Commercial Law, Competition / Anti Trust Law and Public and Human Rights law, both domestically and internationally. Ian is currently engaged as a Consultant for PROSPERANT LLP where he assists managing change in Legal entities including Law Firms and Barristers Chambers . He also works with Grant Thornton LLP alongside their Business Development team.

Lara Oyesanya
Chief Legal Officer and Group General Counsel

Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and C-Suite Executive at WorldRemit, a digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services in more than 130 countries and over 70 currencies. An experienced solicitor with a demonstrated history of working in Fintech, the financial services sector that is skilled in regulatory, payments, enterprise risk management, consumer protection, small medium enterprise, offshore, and commercial banking. Co-opted Member, Committee on Benefactions External and Legal Affairs (CBELA), University of Cambridge. A Non-Executive Director, Plan International UK, Shaw Trust and PensionBee Group plc. A Contributing Editor, LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Banking Law and a Member of the Consulting Editorial Board, LexisPSL©. A Fellow of The RSA and 'Business Woman of the Year' & 'Corporate Leader', 2018 FL National Awards. Ranked in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021. 2022 ‘Woman in Legal’ winner of the Women4Africa Award. Formerly, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer, Contis, legal director at Klarna, senior legal counsel at Barclays and BAE Systems, a divisional counsel at RAC, a legal director at HBOS (Lloyds Banking Group) and Group Head of Legal at Lex (Lex Autolease). Also a barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a law graduate (LL.B Hons)  of the University of Lagos with an LL.M in Comparative Company Law.

Kathleen Russell

Kath was the Chair of Travers Smith from 2019 to 2023. This followed a period of longstanding board experience at the firm, during which she also sat on the remuneration committee and latterly also chaired both the Diversity and Inclusion board and the firm’s audit committee. Her period in leadership followed a successful 30 year career at the firm during which she was known as a leading adviser on private equity tax. She was listed in the Hall of Fame of Legal 500, as an Eminent Practitioner by Chambers and as one of the Top 10 Influential Tax Lawyers 2023 in Business Today. She was a Non-Executive Director of the Office of Tax Simplification for 6 years from 2016 to 2022 alongside her role at Travers Smith and is now fully committed to a non-executive career. She is a Non-Executive Commissioner for the Independent Commission of Reconciliation and Information Recovery, which is a commission which is focused on working towards reconciliation in Northern Ireland society through its mandate for information recovery. She is also a current Council member of JUSTICE, a leading human rights charity and a Non-Executive Director for British Universities and Colleges Sport, in relation to which she holds specific responsibility for ED&I. Kath is a longstanding and active proponent of equity, diversity and inclusion and was proud to have been named as one of the 50 leading Business Advocates of ethnically diverse employees by EMPOWER in 2021 and 2022.

Claire Sanders
Co-Founder and Director
Being Human

Claire qualified as a corporate lawyer in 2007 and since then has practiced law, first in private practice before moving to lead the in-house legal functions of some of the fastest growing consumer brands in the UK. She is co-founder of Being Human, an organisation which seeks to empower in-house lawyers with the human skills they need to thrive: maxmising performance, minimising risk and optimising wellbeing. Through Being Human, Claire hosts Thrive Legal, an active community of 350+ in-house lawyers coming together to share practical skills for thriving. With her sister, she hosts a podcast called How to Thrive which shares insights on thriving from thought leaders across a diverse range of industries including aviation, veterinary, medicine and law.

Christopher Saul
Christopher Saul Associates

Chris is the founder of Christopher Saul Associates, an advisory firm established in October 2016 which provides:
  • advice to PLC boards and directors on governance topics; 
  • board effectiveness evaluation services; and
  • strategic advice to law firms.

Previously, he spent 39 years at Slaughter and May, the international law firm and was the firm’s Senior Partner from 2008 until 2016.

Other current positions:
  • Deputy Chair of the UK Takeover Panel (and Chair of the Code Committee); 
  • trustee at the Leverhulme Trust, a leading research funder; 
  • Member of the Board of ICC (UK);
  • alternate arbitrator for disputes between the FIA and Formula 1 drivers; and
  • mentor at J&A Mentoring.

Anna Suchopar
General Counsel

Anna is General Counsel and part of the C-Suite at Agoda, an online travel agency part of global travel group Booking Holdings Inc., the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services.

Prior to Agoda, Anna spent over 9 years of her career at the global online fashion retailer, most recently as General Counsel & Company Secretary, leading ASOS’ Governance function. In addition to being a member of ASOS' Executive Committee, Anna's remit included Legal, Company Secretarial, Data Protection, Business Assurance & Resilience, and Corporate Responsibility, including ASOS’ Foundation.

Anna joined ASOS from Virgin Group, where she was IP Manager in Richard Branson’s brand management company, based in Geneva. She trained and qualified as a UK solicitor at Taylor Wessing LLP, practicing in TW’s market-leading Intellectual Property & Media Team.

Ed Walker
Chief Corporate Officer and Co-Founder
Transport UK Group

Ed Walker is Chief Corporate Officer and Co-Founder of Transport UK Group, the UK bus and rail passenger operator.

He joined Transport UK Group (previously Abellio) as General Counsel to support the group navigate the impact of Covid on the industry business model and transition itself towards a new future in a radically and permanently altered industry. He steered the Group through its highly complex Management Buyout in 2023 and sits on the Group Shareholder Board and Group Executive. Prior to Transport UK Group, Ed carried out similar roles in international tobacco, African petrol station retailing, oil refining, international building materials distribution and general insurance.

Clare Wardle
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Clare Wardle is a General Counsel and Company Secretary and member of the Executive Leadership Team of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, leading risk, compliance, security and legal teams across 29 countries. Previously General Counsel and Company Secretary of Kingfisher plc, Commercial Director of Tube Lines plc, Head of Legal at Post Office. Currently NED at The City of London Investment Trust plc and chair of the Royal British Legion Industries’ Development Board, previous board memberships include Basketball England (chair), Modern Pentathlon Great Britain, encryption and digital signatures, sheltered housing and retail.

Matthew Wilson
General Counsel

Matt is Group General Counsel at global content producer Fremantle. Fremantle produces over 12,000 hours of original programming every year across drama, entertainment, documentaries and film. He joined Fremantle in August 2021 and sits on the global board. Prior to Fremantle, Matt was based in Amsterdam as General Counsel for EMEA & APAC for Uber, leading a diverse, international team who helped Uber Rides to scale, launch Uber Eats and JUMP bikes (now Lime) and stabilise and grow the business across over 50 countries, culminating in a successful listing on the NYSE in 2019. Matt started his career with four years at Baker & McKenzie, followed by an overall six-year stint in senior roles for global telco Telefónica with a spell at Arsenal Football Club in the middle. Matt studied Economics and Politics and is a practicing Solicitor (England and Wales).

Angela Yotov
Group General Counsel
Close Brothers

Angela Yotov is Group General Counsel and a member of the Group Executive Committee of Close Brothers, a FTSE financial services group. She leads the Legal and CoSec teams and is the Executive Sponsor of the Close Brothers Accessibility and Neurodiversity network. She was previously General Counsel at RateSetter, a fintech and worked at Barclays Bank PLC in the investment bank and wealth management divisions following stints at Latham & Watkins and Freshfields. Angela is a non-executive director and trustee of FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity and is a co-founder of Mentorix a not-for-profit General Counsel mentoring scheme for GCs of the future.