Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury has been the President of the Seckford Foundation since 2011. Lord Neuberger was called to the Bar in 1974, took silk in 1987 and was appointed a High Court Judge in 1996. He became a Lord of Appeal in 2007 and in 2009 was appointed Master of the Rolls. On 1 October 2012 he became President of the Supreme Court. He retired from The Supreme Court in 2017 and now practices as a commercial arbitrator for one Essex Court.
Lord Neuberger was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford University.
Lord Neuberger was a governor of the University of the Arts London for ten years until 2010 and is the Chairman of the Schizophrenia Trust.
In 2006 Lord Neuberger led an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the barrister profession. He also served on the panel on fair access to the professions led by Alan Milburn.
Roger Finbow Chairman of the Foundation and member of all Committees
Roger was educated at Woodbridge School, Mansfield College Oxford (MA Law) and the College of Law.
He joined Ashurst Morris Crisp (now Ashurst LLP) as a trainee in 1975 and became a partner in 1985, specialising in Corporate and Competition Law. He retired from the partnership in 2009 but remained an adviser to the firm until 2017. Between 1989 and 2004 he was responsible for the recruitment into the firm of trainee solicitors. He is the author of UK Merger Control: Law and Practice.
He was a member of the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Competition Commission) between 2009 and 2017 and is currently, a Trustee of the Legal Education Foundation, Chairman of the City Solicitors Educational Trust, Chairman of Ipswich Town plc and a vice president of Ipswich Town Football Club, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of British Universities and Colleges Sport, a member of the Mansfield College Development Board and chair of its Remuneration Committee and he has a number of other non executive roles.
Neil grew up in Woodbridge. He was educated at Woodbridge School and went on to study mechanical engineering at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
In 2012 he joined Lintstock, a corporate advisory firm based in London, where he is responsible for the scoping and delivery of Board performance review mandates. He has experience of facilitating reviews for Boards within a broad range of markets and sectors, including at listed, private and not-for-profit organisations.
Jude Chin Chairman of Finance & Audit Committee, Member of School Committee and Trustee of Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust
Jude has a degree in Biochemistry from Bristol University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has extensive commercial and international experience gained from a 30-year career with KPMG. His experience includes auditing and advising on mergers, acquisitions and stock exchange listings, for public and private companies. He is a governor of the City Academy, Hackney, and the City of London Academy, Southwark. Jude is chair of SSAT (The Schools Network) Ltd, an education services provider and a non-executive director of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust where he chairs the audit and risk committee.
Wendy Evans-Hendrick Chair of Care Committee, Member of Property Committee and Member of Finance and Audit Committee
Wendy holds a BA(Hons) degree from London University in Town Planning.
After spending a short period as a town planner she moved into the field of housing association development, first in Norfolk and latterly in Suffolk. She has been Director of Development and Property Services for Orwell Housing Association since 1995 and also acts as the Director of Development for the e2 development consortium working on behalf of three other housing associations operating across East Anglia.
Jill Gibbs Member of Care Committee
Jill holds a degree in Geography from University College London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
She has over 30 years of experience of the not for profit sector particularly in social housing, including housing care and support, in the East Midlands, London and East Anglia. She has served as chair and board member of Orwell Housing Association and is currently a trustee of BSHF, a charity that transfers knowledge of solutions to global housing problems. She has written for the Chartered Institute of Housing and has served as a Governor of a local Primary school.
Inga Grimsey Member of Property Committee and Trustee of Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust
Inga was educated at Gravesend Grammar School and Regent Street Polytechnic (BA Hons Business Studies).
Inga spent fifteen years in commerce with Levi Strauss, Sainsbury and Storehouse, undertaking roles in marketing, brand management and general management. She then moved to the not for profit sector where she ran Ski Club of Great Britain before joining the National Trust, first being responsible for the Trust’s commercial operations and later for the management of one third of the Trust’s properties including those in the East of England. Most recently, until her retirement in 2010, she was Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society and in 2016 completed a term as Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the East of England.
Inga is currently Chair of the Regional Advisory Board of the National Trust in East of England and in the June 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list was awarded an OBE for her services to heritage and the community.
Dr Geoff Holdcroft Member of Community Benefit Committee
Geoff gained a PhD in Chemistry from Keele University before moving to Suffolk in 1985 to work for BT. Geoff’s career path at BT led him to study further gaining an MBA in Strategic Management from Nottingham University and later a Law degree from London Guildhall University. Geoff finally ended up in BT’s Brightstar business incubator helping to create fledging businesses. After leaving BT Geoff was elected first as a District and then as Town Councillor. He was Mayor of Woodbridge in 2014/15 and is currently Deputy Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council as well as Cabinet Member for Economic Development. Geoff is a member of Woodbridge and District Lions Club, the Deben Yacht Club, Chairman of the Woodbridge Regatta Association and a Director of Choose Woodbridge CIC..
Sarah Holsgrove Member of Community Benefit Committee
Sarah grew up in and around Woodbridge and attended Farlingaye High School. She has an LLB in Law with German from the University of Birmingham and also attended the University of Bayreuth and the College of Law in York.
Sarah joined Birketts LLP as a trainee solicitor in 2008 and is now a senior associate specialising in shipping and international trade disputes. She lives in Woodbridge with her husband and 3 chickens.
Graham Kill Chair of School Committee and Member of Finance and Audit Committee
Graham returned a few years ago to the UK with his family (2 of his 4 sons are still at Woodbridge School) after 24 years living abroad. He is Chair of Institute of Directors in Suffolk and a Prince’s Trust mentor. In the past, he was a member of the supervisory board of The British School in The Netherlands and a Trustee of Dulwich College Beijing. He: volunteers; invests in start-ups and scale-ups; and holds board/trustee roles – his ‘third’ career.
His ‘first’ career was a Mining Engineer managing underground operations in coal and gypsum mines in the UK. After his MBA (1993), Graham joined FilmNet in corporate finance and business development – the start of his ‘second career’. He joined Irdeto, a media technology company, in 1995 and was CEO from 1998 until his resignation in 2015. Graham’s qualifications include: BEng (Hons) and MBA degrees; Chartered Engineer and European Engineer; Chartered Director; Member of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Bryan Laxton Member of Property Committee and Finance & Audit Committee
Bryan has a BSc (Hons) in Land Management from Reading University and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Bryan has over 35 years business experience mainly at Cushman & Wakefield – one of the world’s largest real estate advisory firms. Bryan served on the UK Board for 11 years, including 5 years as CEO and the EMEA Board for 8 years. Bryan has served as Chairman of the Reading Real Estate Foundation charity during his 10 years on the board. Bryan joined the board of Notcutts, a Woodbridge based Garden Centre retailer, in 2015. Bryan is married and has two sons at Woodbridge School.
The Revd Canon Kevan McCormack Member of Care Committee
Kevan was educated at Southampton University, Chichester Theological College, where he gained a Certificate in Theology.
He was ordained in 1980. After a number of roles as a curate and parish priest in Ross on Wye and Leominster he became the chaplain of Royal Hospital School Holbrook in 1987 before being appointed rector of St Mary’s Parish Church Woodbridge in 2001. He is also honorary chaplain to Ipswich Town Football Club, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Woodbridge Royal British Legion, Seckford Foundation (The Seckford Chapel), Officiating Chaplain to the Military and Chaplain to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Suffolk. He became a Canon in 2009 and in 2014 was appointed Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.
Jeston was educated at Felsted School, the University of Bristol, where he read Classics, and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He commissioned into the Royal Logistic Corps in 1997 and left the Army briefly in 2001 working in the recruitment industry, then rejoined and transferred to the Coldstream Guards. Over his 17-year military career he served on operations in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, and enjoyed overseas postings in Italy and Denmark.
Jeston retired from the Army in 2013 and spent 3 years in operational management with Sainsbury’s. He is now the Chief Operating Officer at Vauban, a cyber security company.
Jeston has two children at Woodbridge School. He enjoys running, cycling and rugby, though the latter now from the sidelines.
Over the past twenty years, Judi Newman has worked across the charitable and public sectors in local, national and international organisations as a fundraiser and philanthropy advisor. After moving to Suffolk in 2007, Judi was the Development Director for the Suffolk Community Foundation for six years where she helped raise endowments for Suffolk worth over £7m from local benefactors and match funders. During her time at the Suffolk Community Foundation, Judi worked on a range of initiatives to raise awareness and funds for Suffolk communities, including Suffolk Dog Day, the EADT’s Surviving Winter Appeal and the 2011 “Hidden Needs” report from the University of Cambridge. She is an honorary fellow of the University of Suffolk and a member of its Foundation Board and is a non-executive director of East of England Co-op.
Judi has established a new independent charity to improve access to renewable energy in remote communities in rural India, called the Armstrong Energy Global Foundation.
Emily was educated at Woodbridge School, Gonville & Caius College Cambridge (MA History), and BPP Law School in London (GDL and LPC). After Cambridge she lived, studied and worked in Tokyo for two years as a Daiwa Scholar before pursuing a legal career and joining Hogan Lovells as a trainee solicitor in 2014.
Emily is now an Associate in Hogan Lovells’ employment law team in London. She advises multinational employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, corporate transactions and complex Employment Tribunal claims. She also does pro bono legal work for survivors of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Martin Sylvester Member of Care Committee and Property Committee
Martin’s career has been spent in the property sector where, since 1990, he has been an executive director of Churchmanor Estates plc, an Ipswich based property development and investment company.
He has been a member of Woodbridge Town Council since 2003, serving as town Mayor on three occasions and as the chair or vice chair of a number of its committees. He has a breadth of local experience gained from board membership of Suffolk Heritage Housing Association, Woodbridge Round Table, Deben Yacht Club, Deben Valley Young Farmers Club and as a school governor.
James Wellesley Wesley Chairman of Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust
James graduated from Cambridge University (MA Economics), initially joining Morgan Guaranty as a banker and then moving to Granville, a private UK investment bank. His specialization was corporate finance. When Granville was taken over by Robert W Baird, a private US investment bank, James was appointed head of Baird’s UK equities and investment banking operations. He is now a partner in Wyvern, a private investment banking firm.
James is founder and non executive Chairman of Harris Hill, a recruitment consultancy specialising in the charity and not for profit sector, and a number of other private companies.
Professor Jane Wright
Jane was educated at Queen Mary College, University of London (LLB) and The College of Law.
She qualified as a solicitor in 1982 having trained at Slaughter & May and after a career break while her children were of pre school age she returned to the University of London for a Masters degree in Law. Jane was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Essex in 1992 and has been a member of the School of Law since then, specialising in Human Rights Law, on which she has lectured and written widely. Her academic interests have frequently taken her abroad, particularly to the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.
Jane has served as both the Dean and the Head of the School of Law and in 2011 was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Standards) with responsibility for the Faculty of Humanities and Comparative Studies at Essex. She retired from the University in 2017.
Co-opted Committee Members
Sarah Hill embarked upon a career in media planning with BMP following her English degree from Exeter, subsequently becoming media director of DMB&B in Hong Kong. Returning to London she became a board director of Young & Rubicam . During her family’s five year stint in Moscow she was trustee and chair of the British registered charity Action for Russia’s Children.
Sarah has four children at Woodbridge School. She is a Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer and is a member of Ipswich Orchestral Society. She also enjoys running , cycling and sailing.
Gary Pilkington has over twenty years’ background in primary education, having qualified in teaching at Aberystwyth University in Wales. He started teaching in 1994 at Britannia Primary School in Ipswich and subsequently went on to teach at Heath School in Kesgrave. In 2001 he became the Deputy Headteacher of Hadleigh Primary School, and was Headteacher there from 2004 until 2010. He moved to Claydon High School until 2015 when he returned to Hadleigh Primary School as Headteacher. Gary’s wife teaches at Woodbridge School and he has two children here.
Dr John Lynch read Economics at Nottingham University before switching to Medicine at Bristol. His early qualified career was spent in South West England where he worked mainly in paediatrics . He came to Woodbridge as a GP in 1996 and led the development of the town’s integrated medical centre from where he now practices.
John is involved in the consortium of practices which commissions healthcare in the local area and in the Cambridge University medical undergraduate teaching programme.
Finance & Audit Committee
Steve Liddell is a Chartered Accountant and a partner at Mazars LLP. Previously he worked for KPMG, specialising in audit and transaction advisory work. He has worked in London, Munich and Ipswich where he was Office Senior Partner from 2002-2006.
He is a keen sailor and a former committee member of Aldeburgh Yacht Club
Margaret McKenna MA MBA FCMA read Physics at Somerville College Oxford and qualified as a Management Accountant, subsequently gaining an MBA at London Business School. Following a number of finance positions she spent time as finance director of an FE college before joining Sherborne School, first as deputy bursar and then as bursar. In 2009 she was appointed as bursar of Felsted School, retiring in 2017.
She has served as a governor of two prep schools and was Chair of Sherborne Preparatory School. She joined the board of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association in 2010, becoming its Treasurer between 2013 and 15 and Chairman in 2016.
Alex Skailes is Director of consulting at the Cass Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness and teaches on the Cass MSc programme. Prior to focusing on the nonprofit sector, she held senior roles with PwC and Deutsche Bank. Alex is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds their post graduate diploma in charity accounting. She has an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School, a BA in Geography from University College, London and is a Fellow of the RSA and RGS. Alex is a Freeman of the City of London and until 2016 was Chair of Community Action Suffolk.
Community Benefit Committee
Jonathan Ripman was educated at Rugby School, St Catharine’s College Cambridge (MA Law) and The College of Law, Lancaster Gate.
He joined Gotelee & Goldsmith (now Gotelee) as a trainee in 1979 and became a partner in 1983 specialising in Commercial Litigation with a niche practice in Road Transport Law. He retired from the partnership in 2013.
Jonathan is a past President of Suffolk and North Essex Law Society and Chair of Trustees of Cancer Campaign Suffolk and of PACT (Parents Conciliation Trust).
Christine Laverock runs her own consultancy working with leaders who face challenges managing their staff or organisation. She began her career at Barclays Bank, then worked in local government where she trained school governors. She has also been an OFSTED inspector of schools.
She was an independent member of Suffolk Police Authority for ten years and chair from 2001 to 2005. Christine was also a founder and the Chair of Rochford Trust, which from 1997-2011 ran Rochford House, a drop in centre in Woodbridge for disaffected and disadvantaged young people.
Pauline Hammans grew up and was educated in Peterborough. She gained a degree in Theology from London Theological College and then trained as a nurse. She then took on Special Educational Needs work in schools and worked for Huntingdonshire schools as a re-integration supporter for young people at risk of exclusion. Pauline also worked with Community Against Drugs in St Neots and then as a specialist drug treatment nurse in Shropshire. On returning to Cambridgeshire, she became a Connexions advisor with Fenland Youth Offending Team. At this time she did a post graduate certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Pauline is now an invigilator at Thomas Mills School in Framlingham and does grandparent duties in Colchester.