Meet our Speakers & Panelists

Hugh Blaza

Hugh Blaza

Senior Partner, BrookStreet des Roches

Hugh is our Managing Partner and is responsible for the positioning and reputation of the firm. His priority is to build on the good relationships we have with our clients and to hire, train and motivate the very best lawyers. Hugh joined the firm in 1997 as a real estate partner. Before taking on his current full time role, he specialised in HQ relocations, landlord and tenant work and electronic communications. Hugh takes a particular interest in recruiting good lawyers and helping them develop their potential. He adopts a deceptively laid-back approach but has an insatiable appetite for improvement and business development.

Philip Campbell

Philip Campbell

Commercial Director for Milton Park, MEPC

Philip joined MEPC in 2006 with nearly 20 years’ experience in commercial real estate. Philip works alongside the asset management team, developing relationships with potential clients and looking after large offices and laboratories at Milton Park. He is passionate about helping businesses with their evolving accommodation needs and enjoys demystifying complex real estate issues to make office moving easier. Philip is an active figure within the local community and can often be seen jogging round Milton Park at lunchtimes.

William Cooper

William Cooper

Partner, Harwell Campus Management

William Cooper qualified as a chartered tax adviser with KPMG and subsequently as a corporate treasurer before spending many years at Land Securities, the UKs largest listed REIT/Developer.  William held several financing and investment roles and prior to leaving was the group’s Corporate Finance Director. William transacted over $19bn of acquisitions, disposals and financing.  Notable transactions include the $6bn acquisition of the Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund; the $800m acquisition of the X Leisure Retail Fund and creating a $500m Infrastructure Debt Fund. William has also advised family offices/high net-worth individuals on real estate and debt restructuring.

John Harrison

John Harrison

Bursar, Corpus Christi College Oxford

John joined the College in January 2012 following a varied career that has encompassed roles in the military, Foreign Office and other government departments. Exiting from the RAF in 2007 as an Air Commodore, his military service included operational duty in The Falkland Islands, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He commanded Royal Air Force Halton near Aylesbury, and was appointed Aide de Camp to Her Majesty The Queen. In recent years, financial and commercial roles saw him working primarily in New York and London. He holds a KCL MA and MPhil in International relations awarded at Cambridge.

John Hoy

John Hoy

Head of Rural, Bidwells

John has worked in the rural property and commercial leisure sectors since 1979. He specialises in supporting landed estates having worked at Goodwood House, Knebworth House and most recently at Blenheim Palace where he served as their first Chief Executive from 2003 to the end of 2016 when he joined Bidwells as their new Head of Rural. John is a Director of Experience Oxfordshire (the Destination Management Organisation for the County), a member of the VisitEngland Advisory Board and a member of the Tourism & Commercial Development Committee with the Historic Houses Association.

Bob Price

Bob Price

Leader of the Council, Oxford City Council

Councillor Price has been a member of Oxford City Council since 1983, and Leader since May 2008. He is also a Board Member of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Oxfordshire Skills Board, the Advisory Council of Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and the LGA Innovation Board. His professional career spanned periods as a university academic, and senior management roles in the UK Research Councils and Oxford Brookes University. He is married with two daughters.

David Prout

David Prout

Pro Vice Chancellor Planning & Resources, University of Oxford

Dr David Prout took up the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) at Oxford University in September 2017. He has had a distinguished career in central and local government, most recently (2013-17) as Director General for the £50 billion High Speed 2 programme. Prior to that he was Director General for Local Government at the Department for Communities and Local Government, where he was responsible for all aspects of local government policy and funding, for the Fire Service, and for tackling extremism. He has also served as, among other roles, Executive Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (2007-2009); Director for Local Government Policy in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004-2007) and Private and Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister (1999-2004).

Nigel Tipple

Nigel Tipple

Chief Executive, OxLEP

Nigel joined Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) in June 2013 and has made his mark with energetic and inspirational leadership. He spearheaded the bid for the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, the EU Structural and Investment Fund and Strategic Economic Plan submissions and is assisting the county’s businesses into a period of exceptional growth. Oxfordshire is already a powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation and Nigel is focused on building upon the region’s unique strengths to deliver economic success through the commercialisation of innovation. Nigel has over 20 years’ experience in the formation, development, operation and management of Public/Private sector organisations.

Bhavash Vashi

Bhavash Vashi

Partner, National Development & Planning, Strutt & Parker

Bhavash has extensive experience of handling a wide range of complex planning projects and steering them through the planning process to often demanding deadlines. These include residential and mixed use schemes through to strategic site promotions, Local Plan inquiries, and regularly acting as expert witness at public inquiries and hearings.

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