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13 April 2021

Ex-Slaughters partner Nigel Boardman to lead Greensill lobbying investigation

UK Prime Minister orders review into development and use of supply chain finance in government

By Ben Edwards

Image of Nigel Boardman

Nigel Boardman is currently a consultant at Slaughter and May Image courtesy of Slaughter and May

Former Slaughter and May partner Nigel Boardman has been appointed by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lead a review into the use of supply chain finance in government, triggered by the collapse of Greensill Capital.

Boardman, who stepped down from the Slaughters partnership in 2018 after more than four decades at the firm to become a part-time consultant, has until the end of June to complete the review. He will also put his work as a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on hold while the review is carried out, the government said.

The BBC reported that the review will also cover former PM David Cameron’s efforts to lobby ministers on behalf of Greensill Capital, which went into administration last month at the loss of 440 jobs. These included texts to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to try to secure government-backed emergency Covid loans for the failed lender. Cameron joined Greensill as an advisor in 2018, with the Financial Times reporting suggestions that he was at one stage in line for a huge payout 'of perhaps £60m' from share options if Greensill went public. The former PM denied that the value of the options was ever that high.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said: “The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital.”

The Cabinet Office added that Boardman will have access to all necessary government information needed to conduct the review and will be free to engage with those involved at the time decisions were made.

Boardman’s credentials are as one of the most well-known corporate and M&A lawyers of his generation, working on a string of high-profile deals, including fending off Philip Green’s attempted takeover of Marks & Spencer in 1999 and again in 2004.

Since leaving the Slaughters partnership, Boardman has also become vice president of Save the Children UK and deputy chairman of the British Museum. He also has an ambassadorial role as chair of Slaughters’ Africa practice.

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