04 Feb 2022

UK's Crown Estate unveils new legal head as it embarks on 'pivotal' new strategy

Navneet Ogle will take over from interim head of legal and former global chair of Hogan Lovells Nicholas Cheffings

Navneet Ogle Image courtesy of The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate, which manages a £14bn property portfolio, has named the top lawyer at life sciences company LGC as its new head of legal and company secretary.

Navneet Ogle is set to take over towards the end of the month from interim head of legal Nicholas Cheffings, the former global chair of Hogan Lovells, who stepped in last June after general counsel Rob Booth became head of marine assets at the company.

Ogle joins the Crown Estate, which manages the British sovereigns public estate, as it sets out a new strategy to create sustainable financial returns to the Treasury that will see it restructure to operate as a single group and bring in new skills and capabilities, as well as invest in digital.

Last June, the business reported the value of its portfolio had increased by 7.5% to £14.4bn for the 2020/21 financial year, but profit had dropped 21.9% to £269.3m.

Oli Smith, director of operations at The Crown Estate, said: “This is a pivotal moment as we seek to maximise the value of this unique organisation through our new strategy, while supporting our customers as the economy rebuilds from the challenges of the last two years." He added that Ogle’s “experience and expertise will be invaluable and I look forward to her joining the team in the coming weeks.”

The Crown Estate said Cheffings, who had a long-standing relationship with the company as part of its panel system before taking up the interim role, will continue to support the business on individual projects for the coming year.

The Crown Estate described Ogle as ‘an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with broad international experience’. She has joined the company after four years as general counsel at LGC, a life sciences and measurement tools company that also advises the government through its unique function as ‘Government Chemist’. She was also a member of LGC’s executive leadership team and led the group's talent management and development function.

Earlier she spent almost five years at satellite telecoms company Inmarsat, initially as a senior attorney and later as vice president for legal affairs, as well as six years at defence technology company QinetiQ as a legal advisor and assistant company secretary. She began her career at Allen & Overy and Wragge & Co.

Ogle described The Crown Estate as "a unique organisation with an exciting range of issues and challenges on the horizon". She added: "In particular, I look forward to supporting the delivery of its new strategy over the months and years ahead."

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