Past briefings

18 January

Tony Meggs, Chief Executive Infrastructure & Project Authority
“Planning for uncertainty – how to deal with political and market uncertainty while delivering long term infrastructure”

25 January

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair Environment Agency
“Embedding climate change into the long-term strategic plan for the UK”

1 February

The Rt Hon David Willetts, Executive Chairman Resolution Foundation
“Policy solutions to address the challenges of inequality”

9 February

Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
“Industrial Strategy - progress on business consultations, the framework and policies”

15 February

Tom Scholar, Permanent Secretary HM Treasury
“Treasury Update”

1 March

Iain Wright MP, Chair BEIS Select Committee
“Industrial Strategy - so what's different this time?”

15 March

Sharon White, CEO Ofcom
“Digital infrastructure, a key enabler of growth for the UK economy”

3 May

Gerard Grech, CEO of TechCity
“Digital innovation - business enabler and wealth creator”

9 May

HE The Hon Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India
“India Update”

10 May

HE Mr Nicholas Hopton, UK Ambassador to Iran
“Iran Update”

15 June

Karen Pierce CMG, Director General Political, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
“Geopolitical shifts - opportunities & challenges for diplomacy”

21 June

Jeremy Browne, Special Representative for the City to the European Union
“Priorities for financial & professional services as the UK leaves the European Union”

22 June

Agnes Piorier
“France update after the Presidential and General Assembly elections”

26 June

Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market
“Is Europe falling behind in the digital race?”

29 June

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive Officer, Severn Trent
“The challenge of balancing stakeholder expectations in regulated markets”

6 September

Sir John Peace, Chair, Midlands Engine
“The Midlands Engine—devolved powers, regional cooperation and its contribution to the UK’s industrial strategy”

13 September

Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman, The British Council
“Soft Power”

20 September

Jochen Buchsteiner, London Editorial Staff Member, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Political review of the German Federal Election”

27 September

Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult
“Digital Innovation—key driver for the growth of the UK economy”

5 October

Sir Julian King KCVO CMG, Commissioner for Security Union, European Commission
“European collaboration on security”

17 October

Nigel Whitehead CBE, Group Managing Director of Programmes and Support at BAE Systems
“Responding to the challenge of improving UK productivity”

18 October

Sir John Alty CB, Director General Trade Policy Group, Department for International Trade
“Seeing the broader picture - opportunities for the UK in international trade”

25 October

David Gray, Chairman, UK Gas & Electricity Markets Authority
“Energy markets reform and progress on infrastructure transformation”

1 November

Timothy Hitchens CMG LVO, Chief Executive Officer Commonwealth Summit 2018
“A 21st Century Commonwealth”

8 November

Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education
“The role of vocational training and apprenticeships in bridging the skills gap”

16 November

Rt Hon David Jones, Member of Parliament for Clwyd West and former Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union
“The UK’s new relationship with its European partners”

20 November

Sarah Richards, CEO Planning Inspectorate
“The role of the Planning Inspectorate in infrastructure project assessment”

29 November

Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
“What next for Britain?”

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
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
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
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
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