Rob Booth, one of the leading lights of the in-house legal community, will be stepping away from his position as general counsel (GC) and company secretary at The Crown Estate to become the company’s new head of assets.
As part of a leadership reshuffle, former Hogan Lovells chair and experienced adviser to The Crown Estate, Nicholas Cheffings, will assume the role of interim head of legal and company secretary.
It brings a five-year stint as GC to an end for Booth (pictured), who will now focus on his new role in The Crown Estate’s marine business as it seeks renewable energy generation to support the UK’s net zero commitments.
Booth said: ‘The Crown Estate is a unique and diverse organisation, and after five happy years leading our legal team, I’m absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to continue my professional development here.
‘This is an incredibly exciting time for our marine business, as it plays its part in helping to unlock the potential of our seabed, for the benefit of the nation, and I’m very much looking forward to taking on this next challenge.’
Cheffings, who for many years was on The Crown Estate’s roster of legal adviser panels on behalf of Hogan Lovells, added: ‘Having been client relationship lead for The Crown Estate for a number of years, I have developed a strong affection for, and affinity with, both the business and its people. It was not a difficult decision for me to accept the invitation to support them through this transition and enable Rob Booth to take up his exciting new role.’
Booth, a GC Powerlist regular and widely respected in in-house circles, has in the past been credited with driving value and efficiency out of The Crown Estate’s legal advice panel. In 2019, Hogan Lovells partner Charles Brasted argued Booth was an ‘example of someone who brings the law into the boardroom’. He added: ‘The way in which he instructs lawyers and presents the business to the outside world – he is an incredibly value-driven leader. His leadership is very much based on the values of The Crown Estate.’
Chief among Booth’s recent initiatives is the Bionic Lawyer Project, which was launched in 2018 but achieved notable publicity in 2020 . The project, which is backed by nearly 500 signatories from across the profession, seeks to ‘unlock the potential of the legal industry; to establish what we must do and the changes we must make, in order to ensure that we have a thriving legal ecosystem’.