Experience and Associates

James has extensive experience. He has worked in a range of senior advisory roles in governance, communications and external affairs. He has worked in sport, in the voluntary sector, as an adviser to corporates in financial services and in a variety of non profit organisations. He has worked as a Policy Adviser for a senior Cabinet Minister in the UK Government and has extensive Board experience, including as a Non Executive Director at Sport Resolutions UK, where he led the development of the new strategy and as a Trustee of the award winning Disability Sports Coach (where he is Board lead on governance). James is an Ambassador for the Bristol Sport Foundation and is a pro bono adviser to the Community Foundation of Crystal Palace Football Club.

He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy, is ICSA governance qualified and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Track Record

  • Devised and led political strategy, public affairs and policy at three leading national membership organisations for 11 years, securing key wins including changes to legislation and regulation, changes to key strategic policies, increases to funding and enhanced profile and reputation;
  • Former policy adviser to high profile UK Government Cabinet Minister;
  • Extensive communications experience, including running a busy press office and significant national and international media experience in print, online and broadcast media;
  • Jointly led international advisory groups across policy areas including civic engagement and sport;
  • Co-authored the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation;
  • Extensive experience as keynote speaker, event chair, panellist and university lecturer;
  • Led the delivery of governance advisory services on behalf of Sport Wales, delivering unprecedented change in the standard of governance and strategy in Welsh sport, working with around 50 partners;
  • Led the development of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s sector leading governance training and advisory services;
  • Led a national review of sports coaching in England and Scotland, the first meta level review of workforce diversity in sport and the review of sport recognition policy in England;
  • Co-led UK project and delegation to Tokyo to advise on legacy for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games;
  • Extensive experience of strategy development at senior level.

Research Associates

After a strong first seven months I am delighted to be expanding our offer and we are building a team of associates.

Verity Postlethwaite

  • 10 years of experience in research team roles in higher education institutions – SOAS University of London, University of Worcester, De Montfort University, University of Hertfordshire;
  • Extensive experience in constructing and delivering qualitative and quantitative research projects; specific sports sector reports include the topics of diplomacy, workforce, youth policy, sport mega-event legacy, and equality in higher education sport. Methodologies include a range of primary and secondary sources, e.g. online survey, focus group, semi-structured interviews, media analysis, political commentary analysis, documentary discourse analysis;
  • Contributed to the delivery of national and international research projects, conferences, and publications; research partners and funders have included the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport England, British Council Wales, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Counsel is a limited company registered in England and Wales (under company number 11956533). Registered office at 51 Woodmansterne Road, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2DJ.

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