Past briefings

5 February

Adam Boulton, Editor-at-large of Sky News:
“Whatever next?”

12 February

Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester:
“What devolution requires to achieve success”

19 February

Meryl Bushell, Crown Representative, Cabinet Office:
“The Outsourcing Playbook—improving government/industry partnerships to provide better public services”

26 February

Sir John Armitt CBE FREng FICE, Chair, National Infrastructure Commission:
“Infrastructure consensus”

4 March

Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School:
“Good judgement: A users guide for leaders and professionals….and parents”

5 March

Antony Phillipson, British Consul General in New York and HM Trade Commissioner for North America:
“North America trade update”

11 March

General discussions with regulators and regulated on:
“The impact of customer expectations and changing market conditions on regulation and regulators”

18 March

James Sproule, former Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors:
“Review of the UK Budget”

8 April

James Sproule, former Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors:
“Economic update including review of measures addressing the impact of the covid-19 virus”

14 May

James Sproule, Chief Economist, Handelsbanken UK, former Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors:
“Economic Update”

10 June

James Sproule, Chief Economist, Handelsbanken UK, former Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors:
“Economic Update”

8 July

James Sproule, Chief Economist Handelsbanken UK, former Senior Business Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors:
“Economic Update”

9 July

Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office:
“Government modernisation and reform”

16 July

Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO, Permanent Under-Secretary Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service:
“Diplomacy’s role in a challenging, dynamic and unpredictable world”

9 September

John Alty CB, Director General Trade Policy, Department for International Trade:
“Update on the UK’s independent Trade Policy”

15 September

Mike McTighe, Chairman, Openreach:
“How to create a framework to avoid a town and country digital divide”

30 September

Catherine Howarth, CEO of ShareAction:
“What opportunities does the current economic and social disruption provide for a review of stakeholder and shareholder priorities?”

7 October

Dr Dame Sue Ion, Chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board:
“The role of SMRs in the generation mix”

14 October

Jonathan Black, G7 and G20 Sherpa:
“Look ahead to the UK’s Presidency of the G7 in 2021”

21 October

Mark Britnell, Global Head of Healthcare, Government and Infrastructure KPMG International:
“Health is wealth - innovation in the health sector driving NHS productivity, new skills and creating national wealth”

22 October

Anthony L Gardner, United States Ambassador to the European Union 2014 to 2017:
“Update on US Presidential Election”

27 October

Toby Peyton Jones, Non Executive Director, Department for Education and Board Member, Institute for Apprenticeships:
“Skills reform—how do we capitalise on success and respond to the challenges of Brexit and covid-19?”

4 November

Philip Marsden, Professor, College of Europe and Deputy Chair, Bank of England, Enforcement Decision Making Committee:
“Unlocking Digital Competition”

5 November

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive Officer of Ofgem:
“Market regulation –supporting energy market reform and infrastructure transition”

11 November

Charles Grant CMG, Director and Founder, Centre for European Reform:
“Update on UK/EU negotiations”

12 November

Sir Peter Westmacott KCMG LVO, UK Ambassador to USA 2012 to 2015:
“Review of the US Presidential Election”

25 November

The Rt Hon. The Baroness D’Souza CMG PC, Former Lord Speaker, the House of Lords:
“How to be a good politician”

26 November

Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs Director and Executive Committee member, Vodafone:
“How the UK accelerates out of the crisis with strong connectivity”

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
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
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
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