Paul was a partner at Clyde & Co LLP for over 25 years, where he spearheaded the firm’s pro bono, corporate responsibility and diversity initiatives as Chair of Clyde & Community, the firm’s CSR programme. Aside from being a litigator and employment specialist for 35 years, he is also an accredited mediator. Outside of his firm, Paul was a founding trustee and served as Chair of LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) for 15 years, and as a trustee of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the National Pro Bono Centre and LawWorks (Scotland). With a lifelong interest in the visual arts, Paul designed and launched the Clyde & Co Art Awards when the law firm moved its headquarters to Aldgate in 2010.
Having studied History or Art, Emma Parker started her career in the arts in 1984 at The Federation of British Artists with responsibilities for all external exhibitions at the Mall Galleries. In 1987 she moved to New York where she looked after the US exhibitions for the London based Richmond Gallery. Returning to the UK in 1989 she worked briefly for an art consultancy before forming Parker Harris in 1990. Parker Harris is now one of the leading visual arts consultancies in the UK specialising in the expert creation and delivery of visual arts projects spanning all disciplines.
Rod Smith was a Partner at Clyde & Co LLP for over 30 years and specialised in insurance, advising on, amongst other things, the insurance of Fine Art. Rod was a Governor of Wimbledon School of Art before its merger with University of the Arts, London, and is a longstanding trustee and currently chair of Wimbledon College of Arts Trust. Until recently he was also a trustee of engage, the National Association for Gallery Education. Rod has a longstanding interest in education in the visual arts.
Having started out as a solicitor, Louise moved into the corporate social responsibility sector 10 years ago. She has developed staff engagement and inclusion programmes at various law firms, including legal pro bono and community volunteering projects. Louise managed and grew the Clyde & Co Art Award scheme for the first six years since its inception, including the national expansion of the Clyde & Co Blank Canvas Commission and replicating the model in Clyde & Co offices around the world and with a client, Aon.
As a practicing artist and HE art educator I know only too well how challenging it can be for graduates emerging from art school, or others who opt for a career as an artist later in life to establish themselves and find an audience for their work. When I graduated back in the early seventies the situation was not much easier, but the challenges were completely different. In those days there were many fewer artists, and certainly less galleries or other platforms for contemporary art. In addition there was much smaller group of influencers or ‘gatekeepers’ (mostly male) who would effectively determine arts council purchases, grants and shows in public galleries etc.