Dr Martin Vinnell - University of Cambridge

Dr Martin Vinnell is Director of Occupational Health, Safety and Regulated Services at the University of Cambridge. His role includes overseeing the governance and compliance systems for managing the risks to staff and students from teaching and research activities.

Formerly a research scientist in molecular biophysics, Martin first moved into health and safety compliance at the Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, University of Oxford; before moving to the University of Cambridge in 2001 to oversee biological safety and compliance in teaching and research. Martin still maintains oversight of this area of research as Director of Biomedical Research Services in addition to his health and safety role.

Martin believes that due to the very nature of what the University does, the risk profile will always be broad and varied – and increasingly complex – with this in mind, it is vital that organisations do not become disproportionally ‘risk-averse’, which in itself risks stifling research and limiting or inhibiting the very activities our organisations exist to undertake.

Martin passionately believes that managing all aspects of health and safety proportionately, pragmatically, efficiently and effectively is the liberator of teaching and research, not a hindrance – how can organisations like ours maintain positions of excellence if we shy away from all risk? The answer is not to fear or avoid risk, but to manage it.

Cathy Day - University of Southampton & USHA

Cathy is the Director for Health, Safety & Risk management at the University of Southampton having previously worked in a similar role at two other universities. Prior to that she enjoyed a wide and varied career which started in the Police force and which she believes has been extremely beneficial in her current role. As a member of the professional services leadership group she takes the lead on business risk, business continuity, crisis response, wellbeing and compliance.

Cathy is the current Chair of USHA, the Universities Safety & Health Association. As part of this role she sits on a number of national committees and working groups looking at wellbeing and mental health, compliance management and student support.

William Sandover

William Sandover is an independent Aviation Security and Travel Risk Advisor.
After 29 years in the British Diplomatic Service, with postings in Austria, Argentina, France and Pakistan, William Sandover served as British Airways’ International Risk Advisor from November 2008 until July 2017.
During his time at BA he designed, developed and implemented BA’s Travel Risk Management Programme, and supported changes to the way BA’s crew are supported down route.  In November 2015 he was appointed Chair of the Global Business Travel Association (Europe)’s Risk Committee.
He has recently been appointed Special Advisor, Intelligence and Analysis, to Risk Advisory, London.  From March 2018 he will act as International Risk Advisor to Cathay Pacific.

Mark Rands - Head of Intana Global

Mark Rands is the Head of Intana Global, the corporate and specialty assistance business of Collinson Group. Mark has spent over 25 years working in assistance and claims. As a Director of Green Flag assistance group he helped to grow their medical assistance operation into the largest in the UK. Mark left in 1996 to establish Specialty Group. Initially specialising in delivering medical assistance and claims to Lloyd’s and the London insurance market, Specialty grew further to provide assistance to a wide range of corporations, affinity groups as well as individual travellers. Mark joined Collinson Group in 2015 with the acquisition of Specialty Assist.

James Lawrence-Felton - Head of Land Operations, Securewest International

James possesses over 20 years’ governmental and international security experience and has worked extensively in hostile regions with elevated risk. Specialising in Land Operations and Travel Risk he has vast experience in strategic & operational planning, crisis management, emergency response, evacuation planning and execution, travel risk management, physical security and executive protection. Since 2009 he has worked predominantly in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), West/East Africa and the Far East, gaining crucial experience in hostile environment security operations whilst working in accordance with international/national security regulations and regional government requirements. James played a key role in the Middle East during the invasion of the “Islamic State” in 2014 where he conducted a mass evacuation in line with planned triggers and emergency protocols.

More recently, James has designed and implemented a robust and innovative Travel Risk Management solution to support travellers worldwide and enhance organizational sustainability and resilience. This provision encompasses all aspects of the travel cycle to ensure that global travel is prepared, safeguarded and responded to in-line with company/traveller requirements, duty of care and emerging risks.

David Cope - British Council

David leads the Crisis Team within the British Council; advising, supporting and coordinating incident and crisis management response globally. The team manages emergency planning, response and business continuity. Prior to the British Council David spent fourteen years in the Metropolitan Police Service as a front line supervisor operating in response, firearms, and national public order commander roles, before a strategic role involved in communications and reputational management. Previously, David worked in engineering; undertaking hazardous operational studies for clients on utilities projects.

Jason Melia - British Council

Jason has worked as a Security Adviser in the British Council since 2008. As part of the global response team he provided security and safety advice for the organisation during the Mexico pandemic, Arab spring, Chile and Japanese earthquakes. Previous roles include delivering numerous building projects as part of the Estates team. A NEBOSH qualified health and safety practitioner and a member of the Security institute. Jason is now the regional Safety and Security lead for South Asia and sits on the ONE HMG safety and security board as partner across government.

John McLaughlin - Arthur J. Gallagher

John is the Managing Director of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Higher Education Practice. His responsibilities include supporting Gallagher’s commitment to providing high quality, differentiated brokerage and risk management services to their education clients worldwide.

John has over 39 years of insurance brokerage experience, 36 being with the Gallagher organisation. For the last 18 years John has dedicated his efforts to serving the risk management needs of the education sector.

He serves on the Board of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, is a long standing member of United Educator’s Broker Advisory Council, and an active participant and speaker at numerous education conferences. He has been recognised 4 times by Risk and Insurance Magazine as an education “Power Broker.”

Nicky Routh - University of Surrey

Nicky Routh has been the Insurance Manager and (later) Ethical Conduct Officer at the University of Surrey for the past 10 years. Prior to that she also managed the insurance at the University for the Creative Arts.

Her varied career includes estate agency, property projects, event management and marketing and comms before ‘falling’ into insurance in the Higher Education sector. She is also Chair of the LUPC (London Universities Purchasing Consortium) Insurance Group which comprises 44 member institutions, sits on the Research Integrity Governance Committee, Travel Safety Steering Group, Ethical Conduct Investigating Group and Health & Safety Advisors Forum.

Gerard Forlin QC - Internationally renowned legal expert

Gerard Forlin was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, LSE and UCL. He was appointed as Queens Council in both civil and criminal law. He is General Editor of “Corporate Liability: work related deaths and criminal prosecutions”

Gerard appears regularly on TV and radio channels such as CNN, BBC and Sky.

Adrian Powell - Proelium Law

Solicitor & Partner

Qualified as a solicitor in 2004 after 11 years in the Army. Partner in a criminal defence firm then senior prosecutor with the CPS. Last 11 years in Iraq and Afghanistan in various commercial and international public and private legal advisory roles; Iraqi Ministry of Defence, FCO in Helmand, Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chief of Staff on war crimes projects. Founding partner of Proelium Law LLP in 2015.

Richard Stephens MBE - Proelium Law


Royal Marines for 23 years, reaching senior rank in command. Subsequently held senior management positions in companies that work in complex environments, including as specialty team leader on a contemporary war crimes project. Significant technical expertise in the areas of leadership, management, problem solving in complex environments and international investigations. Founding partner of Proelium Law LLP in 2015.

Carolyn Pearson - Maiden Voyage

Carolyn is the CEO and Founder of Maiden Voyage, an organisation that provides intelligence and solutions to support the corporate female traveller. Prior to launching the company in 2008, Carolyn lead technology teams from blue chip brands such as ITV, Sony Music, BBC, KLM and easyJet, and was a regular business traveller herself.

Peter Cooper - Drum Cussac

Pete is responsible for the operational oversight of the Global Operations Centre; Drum Cussac’s command, control and communications hub for the delivery of resilience, security and response operations globally – as well as designing travel risk management solutions for clients. Previously employed as Regional Security Manager for UK & Ireland at International SOS, Pete has extensive experience in the management and delivery of travel security & consulting services, as well as providing operational oversight in times of crises. Pete has held Security Manager and Security Consulting roles in a variety of operational theatres including; North & Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Southern & Eastern Africa and South America. Pete culminated his career in the British Army as a Regimental Adjutant with direct report to the Commanding Officer, as a key member of the senior management team in key aspects of security, administration and operations.