Appointment of the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Contents

Appendix 5: David Isaac’s CV and Declaration of Interests

Curriculum Vitae of David Isaac

Full name: David ISAAC

Nationality: British

Profile: A Senior Partner in an International Law firm based in London advising on complex commercial projects for international and major UK clients. He is Chair of Modern Art Oxford, a Director of the Big Lottery Fund, a trustee of the Human Dignity Trust and of 14-18 Now. He is also involved in driving diversity in the City of London. Until 2012, he was Chair of Stonewall, a post he held for nearly ten years, where he led the charity to deliver major legislative and social change in the UK. Until it spent out, David was a Director of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund which made grants of over £120 million to support various charitable causes. He was also a founder trustee of British Future. He has a strong reputation in both the legal and equality fields, a track record of chairing complex and high profile organisations and for delivering change management programmes by using his diplomatic and consensus building skills. He is about to embark on a portfolio career.

Professional: Senior Equity Partner at Pinsent Masons LLP

David is a senior equity partner at International law firm, Pinsent Masons. He is Head of the firm’s Advanced Manufacturing and Technology sector and sits on the firm’s International Operating Board. He also advises international PLC and UK central Government departments on their complex commercial transactions and distressed contracts. Recent transactions include significant projects for BP, TfL, BP and DWP. He also worked with the Cabinet Office to deliver £2bn of savings from HMG’s major suppliers. He has established advocacy and negotiation skills and deals regularly with senior board representatives in both the public and private sectors, including at Ministerial level with HMG clients. He is recognised by the Legal 500 as a “Leading Individual”. He also chairs the firm’s D&I Group. He delivers a “very good balance of legal advice with an understanding of the commercial imperatives we have to consider” (Chambers Directory 2015).

Trustee Responsibilities:

David sits on a number of charitable and not for profit boards. As a Chair and Trustee, he has been directly involved in a wide range of strategic, funding, governance and change management issues. He has established lobbying and influencing skills with parliamentarians and other key stakeholders.

Board member of Stonewall (1998 to December 2012) and Chair of Stonewall (2003 to December 2012)

Stonewall is the leading human rights charity promoting the rights of lesbians, gay men, bi-sexuals and transsexuals in the UK. Under his Chairmanship, the charity successfully lobbied to secure major legislative change, including the abolition of section 28, the introduction of civil partnerships and gay marriage. He was personally involved in the development of Stonewall’s legislative strategy, lobbying parliamentarians and other opinion formers, applying for the lobby group’s charitable status and leading the organisation through a period of major change. The latter included refreshing the board and dealing with a wide range of strategic, fundraising and charity law issues.

Steering group member of Audacity in the City (2014 to date)

David was part of the steering committee which worked with Dame Fiona Woolf, (the former Lord Mayor of London), to encourage businesses in the City of London to commit to increased diversity in the workplace.

Board member of Modern Art Oxford (1997 to date) and Chair of Modern Art Oxford (2000 to date)

Modern Art Oxford is an international gallery promoting contemporary visual art. David leads the board’s approach to the strategic and funding issues for the gallery and manages the CEO. He is currently spearheading the £5.5 million refurbishment of the gallery. He is involved in influencing funders and other stakeholders to support the gallery. He is also co-chair of the national galleries Chairs’ group which advocates for the role of visual arts galleries outside London.

Director of the Big Lottery (2014 to date)

David is a general member of the Big Lottery Board which distributes over £700 million each year of 40% of all money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. He sits on the Remuneration Committee. He has real insight into how an NDPB is run and the issues that arise including in relation to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Trustee of the Human Dignity Trust (2014 to date)

The Human Dignity Trust seeks to decriminalise private and consenting sexual activity for lesbians, gay and bisexual people by bringing test cases in countries where homosexuality is criminalized. The Trust works with local lawyers and UK City law firms to provide in country support for such challenges. It works in over thirty countries around the world.

Trustee of 14-18 Now (2015 to date)

14-18 Now is the UK’s cultural response to the commemoration of the First World War. It was responsible for the Poppies at the Tower of London and leads on various other artistic responses to the war until 2018. David chairs the charity’s development group and is leading on its fundraising initiatives.

Trustee of The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (2005 to April 2013)

David was a Trustee of the Diana Fund until it spent out in 2013. He was involved in providing strategic and legal advice to the Fund and chaired the Fund’s palliative care advisory group. He was actively involved in distributing over £120 million. Working with the Chair and the Treasurer, he led on the spend-out of the Fund and its transfer to the Princes’ Trust.

Trustee of British Future (2012 to 2014)

One of the initiatives of the Diana Fund was to support the establishment of British Future, a non-partisan think tank that aims to examine English identity, integration and migration issues. David was one of the founder trustees.

Member of the Court of Oxford Brookes University (2009 to date)


King Henry VIII Grammar School, Abergavenny.

Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

College of Law, Guildford

Wolfson College, Oxford


The arts, swimming, walking, bee-keeping.

Professional memberships:

The Law Society; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


CBE for equality and diversity 2011

Ranked number 29 in the FT OUTstanding Business Leaders Top 100 List 2015 The Lawyer’s LGBT and Diversity Role Model 2015


EHRC Chair - Potential Conflicts of Interest

Please provide details below of any business or other interests or any personal connections which, if you are appointed, could be misconstrued or cause embarrassment to the Department for Education or the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Any particular conflicts of interest detailed here will not prevent you going forward to interview but may, if appropriate, be explored with you during your interview to establish how you would address the issue(s) should you be successful in your application.

Name of applicant: David Isaac


I do not believe that I have any actual conflicts of interest although as they operate in the UK equalities field, I would declare my previous Chairing role at Stonewall and my current trusteeship of the Human Dignity Trust. If appointed I would be happy to discuss whether or not I should consider my position with the latter charity.

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

6 May 2016