Westminster Business Forum

Corporate governance in the UK - the impact of reform, new regulatory codes and structures, and the evolving landscape for good corporate governance

Morning, Wednesday, 26th February 2020

Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR


This conference will discuss the future for corporate governance in the UK.

The discussion comes at a time of increased focus on governance issues by regulators, government, investors, and the public.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders, regulators, and other interested parties to discuss the working of the updated Corporate Governance Code, as firms begin reporting in line with the new requirements.

We expect discussion on how to address concerns, such as:

  • Some firms failing to successfully re-configure their boardrooms to comply with the Code - including rules on separate Chair and CEO roles, and non-executive director appointments;
  • Doubts that the Code will be useful in addressing long-term cultural issues and preventing future governance failures; and
  • Undue burden and impact caused by the Code which could affect the competiveness of firms, particularly post-Brexit.

The conference also comes with the expected establishment of the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) now scheduled for the end of March, and with anticipated reforms to financial reporting, as the CMA launches its Audit Market Study.

Delegates will consider:

  • How the new regulator could best use its intended statutory powers to strengthen corporate governance;
  • The appropriate use of these powers to ensure that businesses retain competiveness; and
  • How the work of the new regulator could best be leveraged to attract international investment to the UK.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Sanu de Lima, Deputy Director, Corporate Governance, Responsibility & Diversity, BEIS;
  • David Styles, Director of Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting Council; and
  • John Heaton, President, Chartered Governance Institute.

Further speakers include: Louise Barber, Squire Patton Boggs; Professor Amon Chizema, University of Birmingham; Rowena Ironside, Women on Boards; Gilly Lord, PwC; Mark Northway, UK Individual Shareholders Society; Rocio Paniagua, Transparency International UK; Matthew Roberts, Fidelity International; Dr Anna Tilba, Durham University and Clare Wardle, Coca-Cola European Partners.

The chairs for this conference are: Jonathan Djanogly MP and Kirsty Blackman MP.

The agenda

  • The establishment of the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority and strengthening corporate governance;
  • The corporate governance framework - the new regulator, the Corporate Governance Code, financial reporting reforms, and the Shareholders Rights Directive II;
  • Corporate governance - an international perspective;
  • Good corporate governance - improving diversity, environment, social and governance (ESG), technology, and shareholder relations; and
  • Next steps for corporate governance policy.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Business Forum conference has attracted strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with representatives who have reserved places from: BEIS; the Financial Reporting Council; HM Revenue and Customs; DCMS; National Audit Office; HM Treasury; UK Government Investments; Department for Transport; Government Legal Department; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Justice; Ofwat and the Wales Audit Office.

Keynote Speaker

Sanu de Lima

Deputy Director, Corporate Governance, Responsibility & Diversity, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Keynote Speakers

David Styles

Director, Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting Council

Sanu de Lima

Deputy Director, Corporate Governance, Responsibility & Diversity, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

John Heaton

President, The Chartered Governance Institute


Kirsty Blackman MP

Jonathan Djanogly MP


Mark Northway

Chairman, UK Individual Shareholders Society

Dr Anna Tilba

Associate Professor, Strategy and Governance, Durham University

Rowena Ironside

Founder and Chair, Women on Boards UK

Clare Wardle

General Counsel and Company Secretary, Coca-Cola European Partners

Matthew Roberts

Corporate Governance Analyst, Fidelity International

Rocio Paniagua

Senior Programme Manager, Transparency International UK

Claire Jones

Principal, Head of Responsible Investment, Lane Clark and Peacock

Louise Barber

Legal Director, Squire Patton Boggs

Professor Amon Chizema

Professor, Corporate Governance and Strategy, University of Birmingham

Gilly Lord

Audit Partner, Head of Audit Strategy and Public Policy, PwC UK