Christopher Saul Associates

Independent Advice on Governance and Strategy

Christopher Saul Associates is an advisory firm providing independent, trusted advice to senior executives and key stakeholders within publicly quoted and privately owned businesses and professional service firms. Areas of focus are governance, succession and the moderation of differences.


I was honoured to be interviewed for the 'Leading Professional People' podcast by Laura Empson and Tony Hall. My thanks to them for giving me the opportunity.

Here is the link

Their discussion after our interview with reflections and analysis - what surprised them and what struck a chord - is very engaging. Do have a listen.



Established in 2016, CSA is an independent sounding board for organisations as they reflect on governance and succession or encounter difficult situations

The firm focuses on the following areas:

Board Effectiveness Evaluation

CSA brings a creative, enquiring and constructive approach to a process which can be too formulaic.

The essence of the Board’s role is to provide entrepreneurial leadership within a framework of effective controls.

Accordingly, our evaluation approach addresses four fundamental themes, being:

  • Process – Clear, high-quality and efficient processes are necessary to underpin the workings of the Board.
  • Entrepreneurial leadership – Does the Board articulate purpose and strategy well and talk about the matters which are central to the development and success of the business?
  • Risk – What is the essential culture of the organisation and is that culture understood and “owned” by the Directors? Are the key risks to the business understood by the Directors and well-managed?
  • Composition and dynamics – Does the team work well, is there an appropriate mix of skills, is there enough challenge from non-executive Directors? Is succession planning addressed pro-actively and well?

Recent clients include ASOS, The BBC, Barratt Developments, British International Investment, CRH, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, Rentokil Initial, Royal London and Travis Perkins.

Private Advice to Chairs & SIDs

Informed, independent, non-judgemental advice to senior Board members at important, and potentially lonely, moments.

From time to time Chairs face delicate decisions around a range of topics, including:

  • Board or senior executive succession;
  • Relationships with regulators;
  • Modes of interaction with key shareholders; and
  • The evolution of board governance parameters.

In coming to these decisions it can be helpful to have access to an independent sounding board who can be a confidential and un-biased thought partner.

There may also be disagreement over strategy, or strategy implementation, as between the executive and non-executive directors, such that the Chair may face challenges in uniting the unitary board.

It is moreover not uncommon for there to be strains in the relationship between the Chair and the CEO – when the role of the SID is pivotal and where he or she may appreciate seasoned advice.

Moderation of Differences

Relationships do sometimes break down in the board room or among partners and an unbiased third party can be an enormously positive influence to act as an intermediary.

There are three areas where CSA can be particularly helpful in performing a mediation role:

  • Disagreements in the interpretation of M&A transaction documentation, given that Chris spent a significant part of his legal career working on these matters;
  • Disputes between joint venture partners, for example when expectations formed at the outset are not reflected in subsequent realities; and
  • Circumstances where relations between partners in a professional services firm break down and where Chris’s experience of professional service firm management can be a valuable resource in helping partners rebuild trust and understanding.

Law Firm Strategy

In an ever more competitive world, how can firms stay on the front foot, attract and retain talent and present a genuinely distinctive proposition to clients and prospective clients?

The world of 'Big Law' is evolving quickly.

Chris’s experience, both as a law firm manager and, subsequently, as a consultant on law firm strategy, can be invaluable in helping firms consider:

  • Recruitment and retention challenges;
  • The likely development of the addressable market;
  • Overhead efficiencies; and
  • Brand charisma and the firm’s position relative to peers.

meet chris

With his background as a senior corporate adviser and chair of a leading City law firm, and a range of current Board-level roles, Chris has a rare mix of skills and experience to bring to his advice.


our approach

Chris has a collegiate, yet inquisitive, style and he brings this to bear in a manner which is appropriate to the role on which he is mandated.

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Chris' thoughtful collection of essays provide a regular commentary and analysis across a range of business and cultural scenarios in which he finds relevance to his life and work.

Chris aims to engage (and occasionally provoke) his readers with a refreshing perspective on the challenges and rewards of the corporate world.

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