Prime Warden:  Alderman Alastair John Naisbitt KING

Prime Warden: Alderman Alastair John Naisbitt KING

Elected to the Livery: 1990
Elected to the Court: 2015
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Alderman Alastair KING

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.

Renter Warden: Arthur William James (Jim) COOK

Renter Warden: Arthur William James (Jim) COOK

Elected to the Livery: 2010
Elected to the Court: 2015
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Jim is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Geologist with over 40 years’ experience in civil engineering in design and construction on major projects worldwide. He was a director of Costain and more recently a Partner of Buro Happold LLC.

He is a Londoner and has been involved on projects in the capital such as the Thames Barrier, Arsenal Stadium, Lower Lea Valley, Olympic Stadium, Cutty Sark, The Emirates Cable Car and Northern Line Extension.

Jim is a keen golfer, sailor and follower of West Ham FC.

Craft Warden: John Andrew Hawkins RICHARDSON

Craft Warden: John Andrew Hawkins RICHARDSON

Elected to the Livery: 2008
Elected to the Court: 2016
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Third Warden (Immediate Past Prime Warden):  Dr Nicholas Mark LAND MA MB FRCPsych

Third Warden (Immediate Past Prime Warden): Dr Nicholas Mark LAND MA MB FRCPsych

Elected to the Livery: 1982
Elected to the Court: 2010
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Nick was born on Hyde Park Corner. He studied medicine at Cambridge and Newcastle Universities before training in Psychiatry in the North of England. During his time as a junior doctor he also spent six years as a Newcastle City Councillor, where he was opposition spokesman on Finance and Economic Development. He specialised in Learning Disability and Forensic Psychiatry and was appointed Consultant Psychiatrist in Middlesbrough in 1994. He was Executive Medical Director of TEWV (England’s largest NHS mental health Trust covering an area over six times the size of Greater London) until 2018. There he led a team of 300 psychiatrists and successfully co-led the introduction of a pioneering health lean transformation programme.

He has a longstanding interest in education which has included teaching medical students, directing Psychiatric training programmes and training Judges for the Judicial Studies Board. He is a Member of a Multi-Academy Trust and has served as a governor for a range of schools.

Nick took a break from paid employment in 2018 to study theology as part of becoming a Church of England Lay Reader. He enjoyed the return to student life, particularly the incongruity of having a 16 -25 railcard! He is the Lay Chair for the Diocese of York and an elected member of General Synod.

He became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths at the age of 21, having been apprenticed to his father Brian Land (who was Prime Warden in 1991/2 and is the Father Emeritus of The Company).

Nick lives in North Yorkshire and is married to Helen who is a GP and they have three sons (two naval architects and a maths teacher) and a grandson. Jonathan and David are already Liveryman and Edward has just finished his apprenticeship and is now a Freeman.

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.