Guy Beringer CBE, QC (Hons)

Chairman of The Legal Education Foundation
Co-Chairman of The Bingham Centre Development Board
Chairman of City Music Services
Chairman of Temple Music Foundation
Former Chair UK Export Finance
Former Senior Partner of Allen & Overy
I hope this website provides three things:
  • an accessible set of links to the organisations and projects in which I am involved
  • access to the many articles and pieces which I have written in recent years and which have failed to meet the requirements of conventional publishers
  • a useful tool to those who might be thereby either encouraged in or deterred from involving me in new ventures as my portfolio career develops.
You will find below summary details of my current roles, career history and education. In this section, I provide a short description of the purpose of the main organisations with which I have current roles, together with a link to their websites. I have divided this into three parts: the first is third sector organisations; the second is SMEs; and the third part is standalone projects.
Third Sector Organisations
The LEF is a grant making charitable foundation which wishes to ensure that all citizens can find out what the law is, what it means and how to use it. The Foundation has an endowment in excess of £200 million and disburses grants annually in excess of £5 million in total.
If I had to select one LEF project to showcase its work and in which I had played a role, it would be the Justice First Fellowships. This project has now trained over 50 able young social welfare lawyers in ‘Cinderella’ areas of the law. They operate in organisations which are often financially fragile but which personify access to justice. This is the sector which, more than any other, determines whether citizens can use the law to improve their lives.
The Foundation welcomes more co-funders to expand the scheme so any bank, business, law firm or other organisation which might like become involved should contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com to find out more.
The Bingham Centre was set up in 2010 and in a short space of time it has become a world authority on the rule of law. Its core objective is to promote understanding of the rule of law worldwide.
My role is to maintain the support and interest of the Centre’s current generous supporters as well as expanding the circle of support more widely. Support to date has come largely from the legal sector alongside a select group of corporate supporters. I have been closely involved in setting up the Bingham Centre Business Network where we have sought to show that rule of law issues are of key importance to the risk profile of large companies. We make a case for investment by large companies in the rule of law capacity as a matter of corporate self interest rather than charitable support. It is fair to say that the majority of corporate boards still do not recognise this distinction. Anyone who is interested in making this case to their board of directors should contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com and I will try to assist.
BAILII is a unique organisation as it provides the only free, online access to case law and related materials. It is a vital but relatively unknown part of the infrastructure of access to justice. It is widely used by judges, academics, social welfare lawyers and students. If you want an independent endorsement of BAILII, read page 334 of The Secret Barrister.
BAILII is a charity which relies on voluntary donations and I am the BAILII trustee with responsibility for developing financial support from external sources. Many of our supporters give small amounts per annum and our model is essentially one of crowd funding. If you would like to make a three year pledge of any amount, please contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com.
TMF is a charity which promotes music in the Temple. The Temple is the site of two of the historic inns of Court, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. It sits just off Fleet Street and the Strand. TMF’s concerts are world class and they are performed in unique historic settings- Temple Church, Middle Temple Hall and Parliament Chamber of Inner Temple. TMF concerts are open to all and you can buy tickets on the website. If you are interested in becoming a financial supporter of TMF’s work, please contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com. We welcome corporate and individual sponsors.
SMEs
CMS is a fast growing SME which helps any organisation which wishes to introduce music into the workplace. This might either be through offering music lessons to staff, running a staff choir or using music as a medium for team building. Our coverage currently is largely in London but could easily expand. Anyone interested in using CMS to introduce music into their workplace should contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com. It was through CMS that I had the opportunity to sing a solo role in the Magic Flute at Glyndebourne so anything is possible!
BCKR is an SME devoted to helping lawyers find their way to trusteeships or board roles in organisations outside the law. It argues for greater support from law firms for staff of all ages to find such roles whilst they are still practising. It aims to promote diversity of thought on those boards and diversity of ambition amongst lawyers. I co-founded the organisation around 5 years ago with Tim Clark, Elizabeth Holden, Bill Knight and Matthew Rhodes. If you would like to know more about membership, please contact me at guy.beringer@gmail.com.
Sagetech is an innovative start up company which has invented and patented a new medical technology for the capture, purification and reuse of anaesthetic agents which are inhaled by patients. The company is based in Devon and has won awards and grants for its innovative technology. The inventor is my son-in law, Dr Sebastian Brown, and I have acted as a business angel and adviser to the company from its inception.
Sleeklight is a start up company based in Cornwall which supplies light pull strings and related products to the public and to wholesale and business customers. Its products can be seen and purchased online at Sleeklight. I have acted as business angel and adviser to its founder, Mr Nick Bailey, from the outset. The company is still a one man operation but it is now growing steadily and we hope it will expand in due course.
Other projects
Remote advice to the South West
The counties of Devon and Cornwall do not contain a single law centre. The other agencies which offer advice and support to members of the public on social welfare issues are under financial pressure and are contracting. Whilst I am Irish by birth and upbringing, my family has close links with Cornwall and originated from Helston. I therefore feel some sense of duty to try to address this problem as I now live for part of the year near Falmouth.
The solution proposed is to provide advice remotely via Skype from London. It is hoped that this will enable local agencies to re-enter this important area and that the eventual result will be that the local agencies can take back control of the advisory service and place it firmly in its local context.
We have just concluded a year long pilot of the scheme under which advice was delivered from Bethnal Green to the Dracaena Centre in Falmouth. The pilot has been a success and this has been due to:
  • initial financial support from the LEF
  • the work of Eddie Coppinger and his staff in Bethnal Green
  • the work of Richard May, Jo Duncan and volunteers at the Dracaena Centre
The full story is too long to tell here but I attach a note [link] which provides a fuller description of this project and which explains how financial support for the project may be offered.
  • 1963-68 Cabin Hill School, Belfast
  • 1968-73 Campbell College, Belfast
  • 1973-77- St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge - BA in History
  • Chair, The Legal Education Foundation
  • Chair, Temple Music Foundation
  • Co-Chair, Bingham Centre Development Board
  • Chair, City Music Services
  • Trustee and Board Member, British and Irish Legal Information Institute
  • Director, BCKR Limited
  • Advisory Board Member, Spencer Stuart
  • Director, National Pro Bono Centre
  • Adjunct Professor, Imperial College Business School
  • Director, Sleeklight Limited
  • Fellow Commoner of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge
  • Patron of White Lodge Centre, a charity which supports disabled children in Surrey
  • Member of the Northern Ireland Integrated Education Fund Campaign Council
  • Patron, Surrey Law Centre, a charity which provides low cost legal support to the public
  • Trustee and Board Member, British and Irish Legal Information Institute
  • Patron of Anchor House, a hostel and life skills centre for homeless adults