An unusual sight: the Lloyd’s building in the sunshine

The D&O Diary was on assignment in London this past week, primarily to participate in an event organized in connection with the Mayor of London’s Climate Action Week conference. It was a great week in London, primarily because of the conference, but also because of the unusually pleasant weather. It was also interesting being in London for the Fourth of July holiday.


The specific Climate Action Week event in which I participated was organized by the Clyde & Co law firm in collaboration with Willis Towers Watson. At the Clyde & Co Climate Change Liability Risk Conference, I was on a panel on the topic of “Fiduciary Duties, Climate Change Disclosures, and Litigation Risk.” It was a pleasure to be a part of this panel and to share ideas with the other panelists and with the audience. I think I learned as much or more as anyone there; it was a very interesting and even eye-opening event. The conference was well-organized and impressively well-attended (notwithstanding  the absolutely beautiful weather outside). I congratulate everyone at Clyde & Co. and Willis involving in planning and organizing this successful event.


The Willis Towers Watson building, on the right and directly across from the Lloyd’s building, where the climate change event was held. In the back ground, you can see the Swiss Re building (the Gherkin).


With my fellow panelists: Will Martindale, of UN Principles for Responsible Investment; Nadine Robinson of the Climate Change Disclosure Standards Board; and Anthony Hobly of Carbon Tracker.


With Ellie Mulholland of Commonwealth Climate Law and Sarah Barker of Minter Ellison. Both Ellie and Sarah are readers of The D&O Diary. Sarah came all the way from Australia for the climate conference.


I also had the opportunity while I was in London to participate in or attend several other events and meetings. One of the other enjoyable events in which I participated was a morning session at RKH Specialty at which I discussed D&O claims trends. It was great to see all my friends at RKH Specialty and to exchange ideas and observations about the current D&O insurance marketplace. I thank my good friends Jason Rose and Piers Davies of RKH Specialty for inviting me to visit their offices and to meet with their team. It was a really enjoyable morning.



Making a presentation at RKH Specialty.



On the roof terrace of the RKH building, with Piers Davies and Jason Rose. You can see the Shard in the background and the Walkie-Talkie just above Jason’s left shoulder.


With John Taylor of Antares Managing Agency Limited, on the terrace of the Sushisamba Restaurant at 110 Bishopsgate (allegedly the highest outdoor dining terrace in Europe)


Though it was a busy week of meeting and events, I did also have a chance to spend a little time just enjoying London. As always when I am in London, I tried to spend my time visiting places and doing things I have not managed to do on prior visits. One of the more enjoyable things I managed to do on this trip was to witness the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. As many times I have been to London before, I had never previously seen the Changing of the Guard. It is a thoroughly made-for-tourists event. There is a lot of marching around and music playing. It isn’t always clear what is going on and regardless of where you stand it is impossible to see all of it. But it is quite a spectacle and on the beautiful morning on which we saw the event, it was a lot of fun.





As many times as I have been to London before, another thing I had not previously managed to do was to visit the Banqueting House, which is the only remaining vestige of the once vast Whitehall Palace. Even with its really kind of dazzling Reubens ceiling, the Banqueting House is quite plain, even stark. However, because of the site’s remarkably eventful history, it is a fascinating place to visit. For anyone interested in English history it is a truly great place to visit. Perhaps because of the beautiful weather the day we visited, it was virtually deserted while we were there.



On a free day during our London week, we took a London Overground train to Chigwell and walked from the train station to Epping Forest, a vast former royal forest. Because the forest land has been never  been farmed or developed, the deep woods are ancient and extraordinary. We pretty quickly became seriously lost, which brought to mind old legends and fairy tales about people who wandered into the forest and were never seen again. We actually saw only a small portion of the more than twelve-mile long forest but we managed to pretty thoroughly exhaust ourselves. After a couple of hours of wandering, we found a small tea hut, where we refreshed and reoriented ourselves before making our way to the train and back to London.




The forest enclosure also includes ancient meadows, where local residents retain the right to graze their animals



The vast forest stretches for over 12 miles; we explored only a small part of it


Most of my prior visits to London have been in the early spring or late fall. Typically, I am visiting London in March or November. It was really enjoyable to see London in the sunshine and to enjoy the late evenings when the daylight lingered on almost to 10 pm. London is always a great place to visit, but I have to say it is a really special place to visit in July. It was a shame to have to leave.


Evening at the village green in Richmond-Upon-Thames


More Pictures of London


Kew Palace, Kew Gardens



In the Japanese Gardens in Kew, with the famous Pagoda in the background and sculptures by the American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly in the foreground


In the rose garden at Kew



The Saatchi Gallery, near Sloan Square


Inside the strangely austere Saatchi Gallery


Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge in Epping Forest