Recognised as a heavyweight among in-house advisory and lobbying groups, BG Group’s general counsel (GC) Graham Vinter has taken over as chair of the GC100 group, which brings together the most senior legal representatives from over 80 of the UK’s FTSE 100.
Vinter, who succeeds fellow energy giant Centrica’s GC and company secretary Grant Dawson, was voted in on 14 January and will now head a high-level executive committee responsible for the overall strategic direction of the GC100.
Officially launched in March 2005, the GC100 group engages with government, regulators and policy makers on what some GCs view as a near-paralysing volume of complex domestic and international regulation, which Dawson, who stepped down after a two-year stint, was particularly vocal about, helping to deliver best practice guidelines in relation to the Bribery Act and encouraging regulators not to introduce vast changes when companies need stability to survive and prosper.
Speaking to Legal Business, Dawson notes his most significant achievement during his time as chair was the best practice guidance provided to the UK government on a new executive pay framework that came into effect last October, which will give shareholders a binding vote on a company directors’ remuneration policy and require companies to communicate clearly how their policies are being implemented. He also oversaw the GC100’s involvement in consulting on new requirements for narrative reporting in annual accounts under the Companies Act.
Dawson said: ‘The work we did with the GC100 and Investor Group in producing guidance to both corporates and the investor community was widely recognised as a major contribution to helping implementation of the new rules and regulations.’
Vinter joins a heavyweight panel of in-house seniors including Dawson, who now shares the role of vice-chair with BP company secretary David Jackson; Vodafone’s general counsel Rosemary Martin; and Prudential group company secretary Alan Porter.
Barclays company secretary Lawrence Dickinson acts as treasurer, while other members of the executive committee include SABMiller’s John Davidson; Land Securities’ Adrian de Souza; Prudential’s Margaret Coltman and pharmaceutical giant Shire’s Tatjana May.
Previous GCs to take on the role of chair include former Prudential GC and current head of governance and regulatory compliance at investment group Old Mutual, Peter Maynard; former Barclays group GC Mark Harding; and Helen Mahy, who was group company secretary and general counsel at National Grid for 11 years until last January. She now acts as chair of London Stock Exchange-listed The Renewables Infrastructure Group.