IBA Past President, Francis Neate, honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award
Former IBA President Francis Neate has been honoured with the 2011 City of London Law Society (CLLS) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his long and distinguished legal career. He was presented with the award by CLLS chairman Alasdair Douglas, who said Mr Neate had played a vital role ensuring that English law remains a dominant force on the international stage.
Mr Neate told IBA E-News, in his inimitable manner, ‘I was flattered and grateful for the award, which was indirectly a considerable compliment to the IBA. I have to confess that I used to think these award ceremonies were perhaps a touch vulgar for a noble profession, but I have begun to change my mind!’
Prior to assuming the IBA presidency in 2005 for a two-year tenure, Mr Neate held a number of senior officer positions in the Association, including: trustee of the IBA Educational Trust; treasurer; Chair of the, then titled, Section on Business Law; Chair of the Banking Law Committee; and Co-Chair of the IBA Review Committee, overseeing a major reorganisation of the IBA.
Davis Polk and Wardwell, New York, is where Mr Neate began his legal career in 1963. He then went on to spend more than 30 years at Slaughter and May where, in the early part of his career, he was involved with a number of public flotations and mergers of public companies, and with the problems of several smaller banks during the secondary banking crisis of 1973 to 1976. Mr Neate proceeded to head the firm’s Litigation Department, and was involved in a variety of high-profile cases and Department of Trade and Banking Act inquiries. He became a partner in 1972 and left the firm in 1997 to join Schroders plc as group legal adviser.
With a passion for cricket, Mr Neate was able to combine his professional work with his love of the sport. He was the principal legal adviser for the Test and County Cricket Board from 1986 to 1997 and had close involvement in the formation of its successor, the England & Wales Cricket Board (established 1997), the governing body of cricket for those two United Kingdom constituents. He conducted almost all the Board’s legal work for about 11 years. A keen cricketer, he captained Berkshire County Cricket Club, of which he is now president, during 1971 and 1975.
Throughout his legal career Mr Neate edited and contributed to several legal books including Bank Confidentiality, now in its 5th edition, and The Rule of Law: Perspectives from Around the Globe and was a participant in numerous conferences as a panellist and moderator.
He concluded his legal career in 2009 Of Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis International LLP after a five-year period at the firm.
The British Legal Awards took place on 1 December 2011 at Old Billingsgate Market in The City of London, United Kingdom.
The photo shows (from left to right): Kevin Bridges (the awards’ host); Francis Neate; Alasdair Douglas (chairman of the City of London Law Society).