MacKay Hannah

Beginning Brexit: Understanding how Brexit will affect services and business in Scotland


Michael Russell MSP

Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, Scottish Government

Brought up in Troon in Ayrshire and educated at Edinburgh University, he has lived in Argyll for over 20 years.

Mr Russell was previously Minister for Environment from 2007 until 2009 and then served as Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution before moving to the role of Cabinet Secretary for Education which he held until 2014.

He is the Constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament for Argyll & Bute.

He is the author of seven books including one novel, has one son and lives with his wife in rural Argyll.

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Andy Maciver

Director, Message Matters

With nearly 15 years in communications in banking and politics, Andy’s areas of expertise are corporate positioning, reputation management, strategic campaigns and writing.

He also has a background in branding and corporate ID renewal and is a regular contributor to political discussion on TV and radio.

MessageTweet AKMaciver

John Edward

former Head of Office in Scotland, The European Parliament

Joh Edward is currently Director at Scottish Council of Independent Schools. This is an education charity which represents and supports independent schools in Scotland both domestically and internationally. In that capacity he is a member of SQA Advisory Council, Curriculum for Excellence Management Board and Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme Advisory Board.

John is a political and policy analyst with 20 years experience covering a wide range of policy fields in Brussels and Scotland and he has substantial experience in analysis and communication of UK and devolved parliamentary systems.

John has also previously served as Senior Campaign Spokesperson, Scotland for Britain Stronger In Europe, as Parliamentary Manager for Scottish Enterprise and as EU Policy manager for Scotland Europa.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE

Chair - Scottish Government Independent Advisory Regulatory Review Group

Professor Russel Griggs  was born and educated in Edinburgh and has a degree from Heriot Watt University. He started his business life in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry and then moved to the consumer flooring industry before becoming CEO of an industrial textile company in England in the 1980s. In 1990 he joined Scottish Enterprise in a business development role and became an Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise where he ran the investment banking and business development arms, as well as spending some years in the USA looking at outward investment for Scottish companies. He also ran Scotland the Brand, the Scottish Science Trust, and was in charge of designing and building the Scottish Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Theme Park in Florida for the Millennium celebrations.

Since then he has had a number of non executive positions in the private, public and third sector as well as running his own consultancy business which does a variety of strategic work for public bodies and private companies. Currently he is a Group Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of Lenlyn Group, a large regulated financial services company, Chair of PureLifi, a technology spin out company from Edinburgh University, Chair of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, and a Board member of the BE Group, a business support and publishing company.

From 2007 - 2010 he was also Chair of the CBI’s UK SME Council, and from that was a member of various other Government Committees. He also Chairs the Scottish Government’s independent Regulatory Review Group who advise and work on better regulation in Scotland.

In 2011 he was appointed jointly by the banks, industry, and UK Government as the Independent External Reviewer to the Task Force for clearing banks in the UK to ‘audit’ their new appeals process for businesses appealing against credit being declined. He also reviewed the Lending Code (the voluntary code that banks use to state how they will lend to consumers and micro businesses) which will bring new lending standards for both the consumer and SME sector. He is about to review the branch closure programme for those banks that agreed a protocol with Government in 2015 on how these would be done.

He was also until recently a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of VisitScotland, a Board member of Scottish Enterprise, a Non Executive Director of the Scottish Government, and a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.

He is honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow in 2002 for services to industry and the University. He has been also associate Professor at Boston University and a member of the board of the Business School at Georgia Southern University. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2008 for services to Scottish Industry.

He is married with two grown up and married children. When not working he enjoys his garden and his 3 grandchildren.


Jenny Stewart

Partner - Head of Infrastructure and Government, KPMG in the UK

Jenny Stewart is the Partner leading KPMG’s public sector and infrastructure businesses in Scotland. Jenny is also a member of the firm's UK government business leadership team and its Global Infrastructure Group. Over the last 20 years, she has advised on complex financial advisory; change and infrastructure projects, having worked in leading roles Management Consulting and in Corporate Finance Infrastructure.

In the public sector, her clients have included Scottish Government, UK Ministry of Defense; UK Department of Health; Northern Ireland’s Department for Regional Development; most of Scotland’s local authorities and NHS Boards, along with Scottish Water and Scottish Enterprise. In the private sector, her clients have included major infrastructure providers such as Carillion; Balfour Beatty; BAM; Robertson Group and Miller Group.

Jenny contributes to the development of thinking on public policy and is regularly invited to give evidence to the Committees of the Scottish Parliament – most recently Health; Local Government; Finance and Infrastructure and Capital Investment. Her early career was spent in Whitehall and in Scottish Government. She has worked on secondment to the European Commission in Brussels. A Board member of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh since 2009 and of the David Hume Institute from this year, she was previously Board member of Volunteer Development Scotland from 2008 – 2014 and a member of the CBI in Scotland’s public sector group from 2010 – 2013.

Mark Taylor

Assistant Director, Audit Scotland

Mark leads Audit Scotland’s thinking about the implications the new powers of the Scottish Parliament have for its work. This includes independent reporting on progress and supporting the Parliament in the scrutiny and oversight of implementation. He also leads Audit Scotland’s work on the Scottish budget and infrastructure investment.

He is a member of Audit Scotland’s leadership group and has over 20 years experience of public audit in Scotland. He is a qualified accountant member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Mark previously led the financial audit of the Scottish Government for six years on behalf of the Auditor General. He is the appointed external auditor of Transport Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland, the Forestry Commission in Scotland, Revenue Scotland and the Scottish Fiscal Commission.


Graeme Roy

Director, Fraser of Allander Institute, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde

Professor Graeme Roy is Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute.

During 2015 and 2016, Graeme was head of the First Minister's Policy Unit a new team in the Scottish civil service established to support policy delivery within the Scottish Government. Graeme was a key advisor during the negotiations on the Fiscal Framework underpinning the Scotland Act (2016).

Between 2011 and 2014 he was a Senior Economic Adviser in the Government Economic Service and Head of the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser in the Scottish Government. During this time Graeme was responsible for a team of over 50 economists and statisticians providing economic analysis across a diverse range of areas including the global, national & regional/city economies, the public finances, enterprise & innovation, energy & climate change and the development of government economic strategies.

Graeme is a past ESRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Fraser of Allander and lecturer in Economics at the University of Strathclyde. He holds a PhD in fiscal policy and devolution from the University of Glasgow as well as economics degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Strath_FAI  UniStrathclyde

Lynda Towers

Director of Public Law, Morton Fraser

Lynda's specialisms include Government, Public & Administrative Law, Public Procurement and State Aid, Litigation, Planning & Environmental and Public Sector Partners.

Lynda is the Director of Public Law in the Public Law Team at Morton Fraser which she joined in 2016 from the Scottish Government and specialises in public and administrative law.

She previously held senior positions at the Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government) and the Scottish Parliament and advised the Parliament (from an independent legal perspective) up to, through and beyond the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

Lynda's background includes drafting, interpreting and advising on primary and secondary legislation at both Westminster and Holyrood, advising Government Ministers, the Presiding Officer and Committee Convenors.

She advised Parliament on data protection and minimum alcohol pricing matters and has litigation experience in the CJEU, the Supreme Court and the Court of Session on issues such as mental health, benefits legislation, fox hunting, planning and state aid.

Lynda's previous experience includes:

  • Scottish Public Law Group - issues arising out of Parliamentary legislation
  • Strathclyde University 2015 - 30 Years of Judicial Review
  • Law Society Conference on Independence
  • In House Lawyers Group - on various topics including the Parliament/Purdah/Common Good
  • The WS Society - PCC competency course
  • Developed the Edinburgh and Dundee Diploma classes on Public Law
  • Hosted international delegations to the Scottish Parliament and explaining its context and jurisdiction

Katerina Lisenkova

Head of Economic Modelling, Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde

Katerina Lisenkova is Head of Economic Modelling in the Fraser of Allander Institute. Her research interests are in the areas of population economics, demographic change, public finance, economics of migration, regional economics, economics of education and macroeconomic modelling. Previously she worked at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) where she was leading a team developing and using the National Institute General Equilibrium model of Ageing (NiAGE).
Strath_FAI UniStrathclyde

Ian Wooton

Professor of Economics & Vice Dean (Research) Strathclyde Business School

Ian Wooton is Professor of Economics and Vice-Dean (Research) in the Strathclyde Business School. Ian is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading international trade economists having published widely in areas such as customs union theory and international factor migration. He has held visiting positions at leading research institutions around the world and has served as a consultant to a number of agencies including the World Bank and UK Treasury. He is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London and a Fellow of the CESifo Research Network, University of Munich. In 1999, Ian and Joseph Francois (University of Bern) established the European Trade Study Group (ETSG). ETSG has now grown to be the world’s largest annual international trade conference.

Alastair Ross FCIPR

Assistant Director, Head of Public Policy (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) at Association of British Insurers

Alastair is the Convener of the Association of Scottish Public Affairs

He is also the Head of Public Policy for the Association of British Insurers. He leads the ABI’s engagement with the media, policymakers and members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on behalf of the insurance industry. He one of Scotland’s leading public affairs professionals, with almost 20 years of experience in lobbying. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Convener of industry body the Association for Scottish Public Affairs.

Alastair started his career in newspapers and then public relations. Before joining the ABI he was Director of Public Policy with international law firm Pinsent Masons, and managed government relations for Bank of Scotland and then HBOS plc. You can follow Alastair on Twitter @AlastairRoss or on LinkedIn.


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Duncan MacLennan was great as ever, bringing a very interesting perspective to the challenges (and failings) of housing.

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