Prime Warden:  Arthur William James (Jim) Cook

Prime Warden: Arthur William James (Jim) Cook

Elected to the Livery: 2010
Elected to the Court: 2015
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Jim Cook BSc MSc CEng FICE CGeol FGS

Jim is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Geologist with over 40 years of civil engineering experience in design and construction on major projects worldwide. He was a director at Costain and until recently a partner of Buro Happold LLC.

Jim was born in London; and was indentured as a civil engineer with the Greater London Council and studied civil engineering at Westminster College. Jim continued his studies part time finishing with a BSc in earth sciences and an MSc in specialist civil engineering from Surrey University. Jim is both a chartered civil engineer and a chartered geologist. He is a keen sailor and sportsman having played most sports at some time and is currently an enthusiastic golfer.

Jim is happily married to Lou, they lived in Dubai for 9 years and now live in Surrey. They have two children, Laura, and James and two grandchildren Seth and Evie.

For many years Jim worked as a specialist Civil Engineer with Costain on many major projects worldwide including the Thames Barrier and Victoria Line in London, and the Dubai Dry Dock in the early days. Jim has also carried out marine based civil engineering projects in Asia, the Middle East, and European waters. Jim achieved director status with Costain, managing their worldwide ground engineering business.

In his more recent career from 2000 onwards, he became a partner in Buro Happold, a world leading engineering consultancy and which focused on innovative design and sustainable engineering solutions.

As a Londoner, the highlight of his later years was being a senior member of the engineering consultancy team that won the 2012 Olympic Games for London in 2008, and the subsequent redevelopment of the Lower Lea Valley. He was involved in the design for various projects in London, such as the Arsenal and Olympic Stadiums, Emirates Cable Car and the refurbishment of the tea clipper Cutty Sark at Greenwich.

Jim is also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Paviors, he considers that both Worshipful Companies are allied to his profession as both a civil engineer and geologist.

With regards to his profession, he has been involved at both senate and chair levels of five of the most prestigious technical organizations in UK and Europe. He currently the chair of UK’s worldwide ground engineering registration panel.

With regards to the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, Jim has chaired the Publicity and Public Relations Committee. He has also sat on three Paviors’ Committees. His experiences with both Companies have enhanced his knowledge of the City and the “giving” of the Livery society.

Renter Warden: John Andrew Hawkins RICHARDSON

Renter Warden: John Andrew Hawkins RICHARDSON

Elected to the Livery: 2008
Elected to the Court: 2016
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Craft Warden: Robert David (Bob) TUNKS

Craft Warden: Robert David (Bob) TUNKS

Elected to the Livery: 2010
Elected to the Court: 2016
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Third Warden (Immediate Past Prime Warden):  Alderman Alastair John Naisbitt KING

Third Warden (Immediate Past Prime Warden): Alderman Alastair John Naisbitt KING

Elected to the Livery: 1990
Elected to the Court: 2015
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Alastair is the Founder and Chairman of Naisbitt King Asset Management Limited, an independent, FCA-regulated fund management firm, headquartered in the City of London. He started his career as a lawyer and practiced as a solicitor at a leading international law firm, again in the City of London.

Alastair was first elected as a Common Councilman of the Ward of Queenhithe (where he resides) in 1999 and was then elected Alderman in 2016. He serves on a wide range of City of London Corporation Committees.

Alastair is Chair, IoD London Region; Chairman of the environmental charity Common Earth and a trustee of several other charities. He is an amateur blacksmith and enjoys boxing.

Father of the Company: Mr Brian John Maxwell ILES

Father of the Company: Mr Brian John Maxwell ILES

Elected to the Livery: 1959
Elected to the Court: 1988
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The Role and its History

The Father is the only title to be held in perpetuity (those of the Prime Warden, Wardens, the Clerk and the Beadle are elected annually.) With its suggestion of English monasticism, the title is embued with the authority of antiquity. It is always given to the senior Past Prime Warden, who perhaps can be said to compare with the “elders” of other bodies or professions such as “The Father of the House of Commons” and “The Father of the bench.” King Henry IV – in whose reign so much of the nucleus of the Company’s ordinance seems to have been shaped – also became known as “The Father and Friend of the People”. Many and varied are the duties and responsibilities of the Father of a Livery Company. He does, of course, defer to the Prime Warden: who in turn feels secure in the knowledge that the oldest member – with a wealth of experience – is at his side to assist with official formulae or advise on matters unusually difficult which could arise during his term in office. This was particularly so in the earliest days, when the other past Prime Wardens only continued to serve on the Court for a limited period. It is the prerogative of the Father to attend not only the Quarterly Courts, but every other meeting of Wardens. Furthermore, he is automatically invited to “take the Chair” in the absence of the Prime Warden.