David Willis – Director and Chair of the Board of Directors
David joined the board of directors of Paradigm Trust in January 2014 and became the chair in July 2016. He is a member of the operations and finance committee and is the trust’s link director for Old Ford Primary Academy.
David is a solicitor and, prior to his retirement, he was the joint CEO at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was a member of the board and co-chaired the executive committee concentrating on the implementation of the firm’s strategy.
Prior to becoming managing partner of Herbert Smith in April 2008, he held a number of senior management positions, including leading Herbert Smith’s Asia operations (1997–2001) and Herbert Smith’s financial institutions group.
David joined Herbert Smith in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. Before working in Hong Kong, he advised on a series of major privatisations in the United Kingdom, including in the electricity and coal sectors. He also advised the UK government on the restructuring of British Nuclear Fuels plc and the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
David is also a member of the council at Queen Mary University of London and chair of its audit and risk committee; a member of the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and chair of its finance and audit committee; and a vice-chair of the board of trustees of United Response, a learning disabilities charity, and chair of its finance and resources committee.
David’s term of office is four years. He was appointed as a director by the members on 15 January 2014. Under Paradigm Trust’s Articles of Association, David is a member of the Trust while he is the chair of the board of directors.