Nigel Boardman among legal heavyweights recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours
Former Slaughter and May partner knighted alongside ex-Attorney General as lawyers from Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright and Ince's brand ambassador also receive awards
Former Slaughter and May partner Nigel Boardman was one of a number of prominent members of the UK legal profession to be recongnised in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours, announced to coincide with the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee last weekend.
Former corporate partner Boardman was knighted for services to the legal profession. A mainstay of the Magic Circle firm since 1973, he made partner in 1982 and exited the partnership in 2019 to work as a consultant, chairing the firm’s Africa practice, before retiring from the firm in April 2022.
During a 45-year career with Slaughter and May, Boardman acted on numerous significant deals and restructurings, including a celebrated takeover defence of UK retailer Marks and Spencer and advising the then-government on the recapitalisation of the banking system during the global financial crisis.
Other regular clients included Shell, Vodafone, BHP Billiton and Reuters. Boardman also led an independent review into the conduct of former Prime Minister David Cameron and others following the collapse of Greensill Capital.
Deborah Finkler, Slaughter’s managing partner, said: “I’d like to congratulate Nigel on his knighthood and thank him for his many contributions to the firm during his time here. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”
Also knighted was former Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP. Wright, a member of Birmingham’s No. 5 Chambers, was the government’s chief legal adviser from 2014-18 before serving as culture secretary.
Ramesh Vala, a consultant to Ince Group, received the CBE, having previously been awarded an OBE for his charitable work in 2001 after raising more than £1.5m for various charities. Ince’s brand ambassador, Vala was honoured for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic in particular.
Shipping lawyer Harry Theochari, a senior consultant at Norton Rose Fulbright, was also honoured for his work to the maritime industry. The firm’s EMEA managing partner, Peter Scott, said: “Harry is a titan of the legal shipping world and has contributed a vast amount to the industry over the decades. I am absolutely delighted that his work and efforts have been recognised with an OBE.”
Andrew Skipper, senior counsel and chair of international firm Hogan Lovells’ Africa practice, received an MBE for services to British trade and investment in Africa for successive governments. Skipper retired as a partner in January 2022 and handed over leadership of the Africa practice after seven years to Paris partner Olivier Fille-Lambie and London’s Arun Velusami.
He said: “I am especially happy that this recognition relates to the work I have been doing in Africa, a continent I admire greatly, where I have so many friends, and which I know will be the focus of exciting global growth in coming years.”
Skipper was instrumental in developing Hogan Lovell’s strong referral network of law firms across Anglophone and Francophone Africa, as well as being influential in delicately ending Hogan Lovells’ six-year association with former practice Routledge Modise before relaunching the Johannesburg office as a fully integrated South Africa practice in 2019. The office hired its first lateral partner in 2021, from Pinsent Masons.