Meet our Speakers & Panelists
Senior Partner, BrookStreet des Roches
Hugh is BrookStreet des Roches’ Senior Partner. He is an experienced commercial property lawyer. Having graduated from University College Oxford and trained in the City, Hugh returned to Oxford in 1986. He has worked in and around the city ever since. Hugh and his firm have represented a number of the major businesses and institutions in the area in their property affairs. They have recently been involved in a number of the large and exciting developments which are starting to take shape in Oxford. Hugh is a great advocate of the improvement and enhancement of the built environment and thinks there is much to admire in what has taken place in recent years. He nevertheless believes that this period promises to be one of the most exciting in the history of the city and of the region generally.
Partner Rural, Bidwells
Edward has worked in the rural property industry for 26 years. He is a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers and an RICS Accredited Expert Witness. He specialises in advising landowners and occupiers on a wide range of property issues and also undertakes dispute resolution work. He principally practices in Southern England, Eastern England and the Home Counties. Edward is also a Director of Thame Farmers Auction Mart Limited.
Andrew Down, Head of Partnership and Insight, Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils
Andrew came to local government from the housing association world, joining South Oxfordshire District Council in 2004. The council joined forces with Vale of White Horse District Council in 2008 and Andrew has enjoyed a wide variety of roles in the shared management team. Over the past few months he has led the work for both councils in partnership with colleagues around the county to develop a housing and growth deal between all six Oxfordshire councils, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and central government.
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.
Executive Director Place & Growth, Cherwell & South Northamptonshire District Councils
Adrian is responsible for economic growth, regeneration and transport matters. He leads the growth of the two Districts through their respective Local Plans and accompanying economic growth strategies; in particular he has set the strategy for the development of Banbury, Bicester, Brackley, Silverstone, Towcester and the former USAF base at Upper Heyford. Adrian has been a consultant, civil servant and Local Government officer in England and Scotland with a background in planning & regeneration, economic development, policy and legislative analysis, housing, transport and public service reform. He has published extensively in these fields and presented evidence to many Parliamentary enquiries by the Scottish, European Parliaments, the House of Commons and House of Lords Select Committees.
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.
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.
Partner Planning , Bidwells
Robs work covers the full spectrum of planning legislation from site specific issues to strategy on planning new sustainable communities and regeneration projects, with special emphasis on the identification of strategic scale development opportunities including new settlements. He advises on planning strategy and procedures to best promote a development proposal to permission/ allocation and he also leads multi-disciplinary project teams to steer major development proposals through the planning process.
Planning Director, Barton Willmore
Michael is a Planning Director at Barton Willmore who takes the lead role in promoting strategic land through the Local Plan process and the preparation and submission of planning applications. He works as part of multi-disciplinary teams, working closely with a range of developers, pension funds and landowners.
Treasurer, Christ Church College, Oxford
James Lawrie is an experienced finance professional, with over 30 years experience working in corporate finance positions within the UK banking sector. Since 2006, James has been Chief Financial Officer at Christ Church College, with responsibility for budgeting and financial control of £30m. He has particular responsibility for £500m endowment of which 40% is invested in direct and indirect property, and for overseeing £4m+ annual maintenance, repair and renewal budget at the main site.
Head of development & regeneration, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council
Suzanne Malcolm is an experienced local government professional with over 21 years’ experience working in development and regeneration related roles across the UK. She has recently been appointed head of development and regeneration at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, where she was previously economic development manager. As part of the Council’s strategic management team, she has responsibility for economic development, property, infrastructure and housing development. Suzanne is passionate about the difference the public sector can make in terms of development and regeneration through working in partnership with the private sector. In 2015, she was elected as a Director of the Institute of Economic Development and leads on skills and standards in the industry.
Senior Partner, Bidwells
Patrick has over 25 years’ experience in the property industry. He was elected Senior Partner in 2010 and combines the role with that of Strategic Advisor to some of the firm’s major investment and development clients. Patrick is working across the Golden Triangle in London, Milton Keynes and Oxford on mixed-use regeneration schemes where we provide strategic development advice, financial modelling, funding, planning and leasing services on a co-ordinated basis. Patrick is the lead partner for Oxpens, one of the largest development areas in central Oxford. The £200 million mixed-use scheme is a joint venture between Oxford City Council and Nuffield College, Oxford. The JV has acquired land from London and Continental Railways in the heart of Oxford’s West End that will see a new neighbourhood created with hundreds of new homes, innovation space and form part of a new social sciences quarter.
Deputy Director, Projects - Regeneration & Infrastructure
Naisha Polaine is a Deputy Director at The Department of International Trade and Head of the Projects Team for the Capital Investment Directorate. Her role networks across the UK identifying a pipeline of large-capital real estate schemes across all asset classes and infrastructure projects (energy, transport & regulated assets) suitable for international investment opportunities. This involves interfacing with private sector promoters and public sector bodies to ensure that the best of the UK offer is promoted overseas.
Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board
Councillor Price has been a member of Oxford City Council since 1983 and is currently Board member for economic development. He is also a board member of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership,Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, 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.
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).
Director, Oxford Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence
Simon leads the Oxford Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence based within the Department of Experimental Psychology. The laboratory houses a team of theoreticians, who are developing computer models of a range of different aspects of brain function. Current research covers vision, spatial processing, motor function, language and consciousness. A number of the research programmes taking place within our laboratory involve collaborations with experimental laboratories across the university and at other leading UK institutions.
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.
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.