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Politics, Law & Religion


Trevor James


Managing Partner, Morrison & Foerster


Trevor made UK legal history in December 2008 when he was appointed the first black managing partner at the London office of Morrison & Foerster, a leading US law firm and one of the top 30 largest law firms in the world. Trevor is a tax expert with two decades’ experience of regularly advising banks and other global financial institutions, public and private companies, venture capital houses, hedge funds as well as wealthy individuals. London-born Trevor completed his masters in taxation at King’s College, University of London, having read law at the University of Essex for his first degree. He qualified as a solicitor in 1989, having trained at Rosling King, a small City firm. After serving as head of DLA Piper’s London Tax Group in 2000 he became first a partner, then joint head of the international tax group at Bird & Bird. He joined Morrison Foerster as a partner in 2005. In October 2009 he was awarded Outstanding Lawyer of the Year at The Black Solicitors’ Network’s anniversary ball and awards dinner. Trevor has also become a trustee of Fresh2o, a charity devoted to providing fresh water in remote parts of Africa to help reduce the large number of unnecessary deaths each year.


Chi Onwurah


Labour Party, Junior Shadow Business Minister


Chinyelu was elected MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central at the 2010 general election, so becoming Newcastle’s first black member of parliament. During the same year, she joined the Labour Party’s front bench team as shadow minister of state for the department for business, innovation and skills. Born in Wallsend, Chinyelu grew up in Newcastle before studying electrical engineering at Imperial College, London. She went on to pursue a career in engineering, specialising in building out infrastructure in new markets and standardising wholesale ethernet access. After these roles she became head of telecoms technology at the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom and was at a variety of mainly private sector companies in a number of different countries – Britain, France, US, Nigeria and Denmark – while studying for an MBA. Harbouring a genuine passion for politics, Chinyelu was dynamic in the Anti Apartheid Movement, spending many years on its national executive and on that of its successor organisation, the ACTSA. She also joined the advisory board of the Open University Business School. She recently vowed to end the scandal of empty homes in her constituency.


Tom Shropshire Partner, Linklaters


Tom is a corporate partner and member of the international board at the top global law fi rm Linklaters. He became a partner in 2006, having been based in the London offi ce since joining the fi rm in 1998. Tom is the fi rst person of black heritage to have been elected as a US partner at Linklaters. As a member of the international board, Tom is one of 14 partners responsible for governance at the fi rm. Graduating with BA degrees in international relations and political science from the University of Southern California, he also holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration (Finance) degrees. Tom has been a lead partner on some of the UK’s most high-profi le deals, including some for his clients National Grid, Rio Tinto, RBS and Vodafone. In 2012, he became a founding member of the UK’s Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, a group whose primary purpose is to make a tangible diff erence in minority communities via youth mentorship, direct involvement in community-based initiatives and fi nancial contribution. T e year prior to that Tom was noted by Financial News as being one of the “City’s fi nest legal minds”, having been named as a leading lawyer in Legal500 for both US equity and M&A advice.


Solomon Wifa


Managing Partner, O’Melveny & Myers, London


In 2010, Solomon became the youngest ever managing partner of the London offi ce of O’Melveny & Myers, the Los Angeles-founded law fi rm that is the world’s 29th largest. He was just 37 years old. He is thought to be the City’s youngest managing partner. Solomon is a transactional lawyer who specialises in a wide range of primary and secondary dealings in buyouts and hedge funds. He is ranked as a leading adviser by Chambers UK 2011, which notes: “Solomon Wifa is rigorous, intelligent and recognised for his technical knowledge.” He is part of O’Melveny’s investment funds and securitisation practice and, as such, he acts for some of the world’s leading companies with a strong focus on emerging markets, primarily China, sub-Saharan Africa, India, Turkey and central and eastern Europe. He advised the board of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on a $1bn joint venture investment fund with an affi liate of Barclays Capital, the investment banking unit of Barclays Bank. Recently, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Greenwich and appointed as co-chair of the Legal and Regulatory Committee of the African Venture Capital Association.


WWW.POWERFUL-MEDIA.COM | POWERLIST 2013 49


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