Thompsons Solicitors has appointed Baroness Dawn Primarolo as chair of the firm’s Supervisory board. Greg Tucker, the former CEO of a leading Australian law firm, has also been appointed a non-executive director of Thompsons.

Baroness Primarolo, a former Labour minister and deputy speaker of the House of Commons, will replace John Monks (Lord Monks of Blackley), who retires as chair. Baroness Primarolo becomes the first woman to chair Thompsons’ supervisory board, which is the apex of the firm’s structure, responsible for strategy and governance and supervising the management of the firm. She is joined on the board by Greg Tucker who brings a wealth of experience, including 12 years as CEO of Australian social justice law firm, Maurice Blackburn.

Baroness Primarolo’s tireless work as an MP and senior minister saw her campaign on social issues, including child poverty and the tampon tax. Greg Tucker led a programme of change at Maurice Blackburn that saw the firm quadruple its size and establish itself as the leading personal injuries, trade union and class action law firm in a challenging legal market, which includes numerous stock exchange-listed competitors. In a distinguished and varied career, Greg Tucker has also held senior roles at Monash University and the OECD.

Baroness Primarolo first joined the firm as a non-executive director in 2016 and brings decades of experience fighting for the rights of working people. She says:

“At a time when we see profound threats to access to justice for working people, the role of an independent, campaigning law firm such as Thompsons has never been more vital. It is a privilege to be named chair of an organisation that has as its very purpose use of the law to secure social justice and is rooted in the trade union and Labour movement.”

Greg added:

“Thompsons is defined by its purpose to protect and deliver justice for the underrepresented and faces challenges from the political climate, adverse legislative changes and a turbulent personal injury legal sector. There are parallels with my experience in Australia, where our firm successfully overcame similar challenges, while ensuring our sense of fighting for fair never waned and our ethos remained uncompromised.

“I have worked with Thompsons and share its core values as lawyers who fight and campaign for the injured and mistreated, as well as its unwavering commitment, which is why I am honoured to be appointed non-executive director.”

Thompsons Solicitors’ chief executive, Stephen Cavalier, thanked Lord Monks, former general secretary of both the Trades Union Congress and the European Trade Union Confederation, for his “astute leadership” of the firm’s supervisory board during his four-year term as its chairman.

“The firm is hugely indebted to Lord Monks for the invaluable guidance, judgment and acumen he has provided since first joining our board in 2010 and later taking on the role of chair in 2015,” he said.

“We have benefited from John’s experience, leadership and knowledge and we are extremely grateful to John for everything he has done for Thompsons. We are also delighted that Dawn has taken on the role as chair and proud to welcome Greg as a non-executive director – they are widely respected, vastly experienced with invaluable knowledge and expertise. 

“At a time when access to justice is being undermined with the government’s cynical Civil Liability Bill for small claims, and where uncertainty looms around Brexit and how it may irreparably damage workers’ rights, strong corporate governance is crucial. These appointments reinforce our commitment to securing justice and ensure strong leadership when employers, insurers and the government need to be held to account.”