Past briefings

13 January

HE Mr Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador People’s Republic of China to the UK:
“China/UK relations - update after the China State visit”

27 January

Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills:
“Developing the skills relevant to the growth agenda”

3 February

Professor Sir David King, Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Climate Change:
“United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 Update”

10 February

John Manzoni, Chief Executive Civil Service:
“Efficiency and reform - addressing the project implementation and delivery challenges”

17 February

Paul Stein, Director Research and Technology Rolls-Royce:
“The tension between political, economic and climate change considerations for power generation technologies”

24 February

Sir David Ramsden CBE, Director General and Chief Economic Adviser HM Treasury:
“The British Economy: where will the growth come from?”

1 March

Andy Haldane, Chief Economist Bank of England:
“Governance reform - achieving long-term value for all stakeholders”

9 March

Phil Smith, Chief Executive Cisco UK & Ireland
“Technology entrepreneurship as a key enabler of economic growth”

16 March

Dr Penny Dash, Vice Chair The King’s Fund:
“Is the NHS sustainable?”

6 April

Sir Simon Gass KCMG CVO, Political Director Foreign and Commonwealth Office and former UK Ambassador to Iran:
“Iran Update”

13 April

Professor Sir David Omand GCB, Visiting Professor, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London:
“Cyber security - achieving the balance between national security and public trust”

20 April

Jeremy Pocklington, Acting Permanent Secretary Department Energy & Climate Change:
“Update on the Government’s energy strategy”

26 April

Chuka Umunna MP, Member of Parliament for Streatham:
“Labour’s relationship with business and the UK’s place in Europe”

4 May

Douglas Carswell MP, Member of Parliament for Clacton:
“The European debate - key issues for business”

10 May

Mark Boleat
“The EU debate - the key issues for the City”

18 May

Mark Spelman, Lead Future of the Internet Project World Economic Forum
“Future of the internet: winners and losers?”

25 May

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman John Lewis Partnership and Productivity Leadership Group
“Responding to the challenge of improving UK productivity”

1 June

Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service Foreign and Commonwealth Office
“Realigning UK diplomacy - matching resources to economic, cultural and political priorities”

15 June

Elizabeth Dibble, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America
“Pre UK Presidential Election briefing”

23 June

Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary Department for Transport:
“UK Transport infrastructure, priorities and programmes”

29 June

Dr Mike Lynch OBE, Founder Invoke Capital and Director Darktrace:
“Cyber security - indentifying and addressing the real commercial threats”

6 July

Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, UK Ambassador to Germany:
“Germany Update”

7 July

Charles Grant CMG, Director for European Reform:
“What next?”

14 September

John Alty CB, Director General Trade Policy Group Department for International Trade
“Developing trade policy in partnership with business”

5 October

Edward Bonham Carter, Vice Chairman Jupiter Fund Management
“The future of fund management”

11 October

Dr Timothy Stone CBE, Visiting Professor UCL International Energy Policy Institute and Non Executive Director Horizon Nuclear Power
“Progress with the UK's nuclear programme and its contribution to the COP21 commitments”

14 October

HE Mr Paul Arkwright CMG, British High Commissioner to Nigeria
“Nigeria Update”

25 October

Jacqueline Minor, Head of Representation European Commission in London
“The new relationship between the UK and the institutions of the EU”

26 October

Angela Knight CBE, Chair Office of Tax Simplification
“Reshaping the UK tax system in response to changing economic and business structures”

9 November

Dr Catherine Raines, Director General Department for International Trade
“Addressing the challenge of export driven growth”

16 November

Joanne Segars OBE, Chief Executive Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
“Making pensions and savings markets work for all stakeholders”

23 November

Samuel Leupold, Chief Executive Wind Power DONG Energy
“The role of wind power in the energy mix”

29 November

Antonia Romeo, Consul General New York and Director-General Economic and Commercial Affairs
“USA Update”

1 December

James Sproule, Chief Economist The Institute of Directors
“Review of the Chancellor's Autumn statement”

I attend the Briefing Circle because it is an opportunity to meet like-minded senior individuals with very different perspectives. I usually meet someone new and always learn something from our conversation.
Paul Jackson, Chief Executive Engineering UK
In my second career I find myself invited to any number of briefings, discussions and general stuff. About the only one that I regularly turn up to is the Briefing Circle run by Hugh Merrill. I find the discussion wide ranging, the attendees have acute insight, and I always come away both stimulated and better informed.
Nick Baveystock, Director General and Secretary Institution of Civil Engineers
The Briefing Circle is an exceptional opportunity to meet and hear from both the interesting and the interested. The dialogues I have been involved in have been high-level and informative.
Simon Walker, Director General Institute of Directors
I find the Briefing Circle lunches immensely useful, primarily because Hugh manages to bring together such an interesting mix of people with different perspectives. This makes for rich, informative and always stimulating discussions. It is a great idea to bring different sectors together in this way.
Nicola Dandridge CBE, Chief Executive Universities UK
Many many thanks for inviting me along to the lunch yesterday, it was simply excellent. As always you managed to gather together an impressive group and the discussion was fascinating.
James Sproule, Chief Economist and Director of Policy, Institute of Directors