Jeremy Barnett is an experienced barrister as well as a budding entrepreneur, having recently setting up his own consultancy. Jeremy talks to Acquisition International about the new business, the ideas behind it and what it was like to be voted UK Health and Safety Barrister of the Year.
Jeremy Barnett is a leading environmental lawyer. He is Head of Regulatory at St Paul’s Chambers, Leeds, as well as a member of 2 Bedford Row Chambers, London. Jeremy has specialised in Trading Standards, including toy and product safety, health and safety, and disciplinary work.Jeremy has been involved in emerging technology for some time and has also been interested in low carbon technology, energy storage and the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the introduction of such technologies.It was Jeremy’s interest in this area of expertise which fuelled the creation of Resilience Partners, Ltd, a consultancy which Jeremy has formed along with Professor Richard Williams OBE, Engineer and Innovator; Jon Price, Director of the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, and Carl Chambers, former FD of Spice Plc and Chairman of CNG Ltd. “As far as Resilience is concerned, the Legal Services Act has changed the landscape of how lawyers can deliver a legal service,” Jeremy explains. “Barristers have traditionally been self-employed in chambers but they are now permitted to work with other professionals, or other businesses. “Resilience is a consultancy which may turn into what is called an ‘alternative business structure’ in due course”. Jeremy continues to explain exactly what services Resilience can offer, and to whom:“We have positioned Resilience as a consultancy to advise investors, global businesses, local and national governments etc who wish to launch low carbon research development and who are looking at reducing risk in low carbon innovation, especially in energy storage and smart grid technology. The idea is that the partners will specialise in research, the legal regulations (which is where I come in) and the financial modelling of new developments to create what we call business resilience in new networks and something we call the circular economy.”
His involvement includes being a visiting professor at Leeds University for Law Informatics – the study of computing and how it is affected by areas such as law and medicine. “It’s not just a health and safety perspective,” comments Jeremy.
“The skills that we’ve put together in Resilience means that we can broker a deal, we can advise on financing deals, we can advise on the technology behind the deals, the implementation, the government grants that might be available for research or building a factory, and we can help guide the manufacturer with what the clients want, so we’re looking at all the ways in which we can help the new business and its new ideas enter the market place.
“The biggest difficulty the consultancy faces is that health and safety and other regulation looks backwards, it doesn’t look forwards. It’s often out-dated and doesn’t necessarily reflect what people are doing on the ground, and it causes great frustration for businesses, as legislation does not judge what’s happening now.”
Recently, Jeremy was voted the UK Health and Safety Barrister of the Year by Acquisition International readers. An award which he was particularly pleased with as it recognised activity outside of London.
“It is a fantastic award to win,” he enthuses. “Personally, it’s not easy for chambers outside London to get a national or global profile, so we were really pleased that, for once, we’ve shown that everything doesn’t have to happen in London.”
“We are very keen to try to promote green technology in the area and we are working together as businesess, with the universities and local government, to promote this area of the Yorkshire region for Green Technology, because it’s not only good for the area, it’s also good for the UK.”
So how would Resilience pitch itself for business? What makes it stand out from the crowd?
Jeremy has the answer.“Were ahead of the curve!” he smiles. “We’ve got a unique skill set of all the requirements to implement technology, so if you want to design a new ‘smart city’, we can advise on the research, finance, legal, marketing, business process and implementation strategy.’ “Too many people are watching others and what others are doing.
I think we need to go back to the very core principles of delivering a service to the customer. We have to know what the customers are doing and deliver the service they want rather than delivering the service that we want to do.”
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