AnglingTrust The voice of Angling

Current cases

Fish Legal acts for members throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and has more than 60 ongoing cases. We also deal with hundreds of advice matters on behalf of our members every year on issues relating to angling and water law.

Meet the Fish Legal Committee

George Graham, Chairman

George Graham 200pxGeorge spent 20 years as a journalist with the Financial Times, working in London, Paris and Washington DC. After five years heading the FT’s Lex column for five years (moonlighting at the same time as angling columnist in its weekend magazine) he worked for 12 years in the strategy team of a large bank, managing relationships with government and regulators. He is now trustee of a £40 billion pension fund, where he chairs the investment committee, and chairman of another £1 billion investment fund.

He began catching brown trout on Hebridean lochs and eels in the rather muddier waters of Dumfriesshire. There he experienced the devastating effects on fish stocks of poorly designed flood protection works when the then Ministry of Agriculture dredged and canalised the River Lochar. Most of his fishing today is for trout and grayling in southern England, but he has tried his hand further afield and claims to have caught one of the last trout on a fly from Iran’s Lar river before it was dammed to create a reservoir. He is a member of the Grayling Society and a keen cyclist.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive

Mark LloydBorn and raised in Dorset, Mark's first experience of a river was, aged 3, the River Yeo at the bottom of his garden, where he first developed a fascination for rivers, fish and fishing. When the habitat of the Yeo was damaged by flood defence works he started, aged 10, a campaign to protect it.  He read Geography at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and then completed a Masters Degree in Environmental Water Management at Cranfield before volunteering to start a project in London to restore the capital's rivers and canals in 1994. The project succeeded in engaging tens of thousands of volunteers to haul rubbish out of the tidal Thames, create new wildlife habitats and clean up derelict areas.  By 2005 Thames21 had become a registered charity, employing 20 staff, of which he was the Chief Executive.  

Mark then moved to Herefordshire to run the Anglers’ Conservation Association and has since led the unification of 11 angling organisations to form the Angling Trust and Fish Legal in 2009, which now employ 55 staff. The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.  It is fighting more than 60 legal cases nationwide. Mark is the Chief Executive of both organisations. He lives in South Wales near the River Usk and goes fishing whenever he gets the time.

George Stephenson, Committee Member

George StephensonGeorge Stephenson spent 25 years in Africa running safari camps before setting up a highly successful business for Roxton Bailey Robinson arranging fishing expeditions throughout the world. He is also Chairman of the Save the Rhino Campaign and he now lives on his farm in Wiltshire which includes two miles of the River Nadder and a carp lake. He has been a passionate all round angler since the age of 4, catching coarse, sea and game fish throughout the UK and around the world.

In addition to being a member of the Fish Legal Committee, George is the current Chairman of the Angling Trust.

Mike Heylin OBE, Committee Member

Mike Heylin x550pxMike Heylin has fished in fresh and saltwater for 66 years and joined the ACA (now FL) in 1960. After a career in corporate and business management, Mike started and ran a succession of small companies in the construction and security industries. He now volunteers in angling organisations as a result of his fishing experiences and concern for fish stocks.

Mike runs an angling project for disadvantaged children, he is secretary of Boxmoor & District Angling Society Ltd., Director of the Dacorum Angling Project and secretary of Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative, qualified River Fly monitor and sits on the Colne Catchment Partnership, Director of the Angling Trades Association, Professional Anglers Association and the European Anglers Alliance and a committee member of Fish Legal. He was chairman of the Angling Trust until 2013.

Mike says: “It was Richard Walker who signed me up as an ACA member, saying, “If you only join one organisation in fishing, it has to be the ACA.”   

Tim Goode, Committee Member

Tim Goode x550pxTim Goode was born in Beaconsfield, Bucks and has been based in that area ever since although he spends much of his time in Scotland and Cornwall. He went to school in Bucks and University in York and Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked in banking and financial services for his whole career. He is interested in all sorts of fishing but particularly barbel, roach, brown trout (both migratory and non migratory) and Atlantic salmon. He occasionally fishes for carp but having had several years as a serious carp angler now feels it worthwhile to have a life. His angling ambitions are for a double figure UK sea trout and a really big Atlantic salmon. His biggest regret is that on the day he caught his biggest roach he did not use bread as it would then have been a three pounder. His angling heroes are John Ashley Cooper and Richard Walker. His favourite authors are Cormac McCarthy and Robert McFarlane. His ambition for the Angling Trust is to see it having the same size influence and financial clout as the RSPB. His other interests are singing and visiting wild places.

Andrew Nathan, Committee Member

Andrew Nathan x550pxAndrew is a solicitor with the company Hextalls Limited having been with the firm for over 40 years under its various different guises. He is a litigation solicitor and deals with a variety of insurance liability claims for various insurers.

He is a lifelong angler and says that he cannot remember a time when he had no interest in fishing. Although no one in his immediate family fished and he is therefore largely self-taught, his mother was born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and two of her brothers (his uncles) were very keen anglers. It is therefore in his DNA... at least that is his excuse. Whilst he no longer gets the time to go coarse fishing as often as he would like he is as happy to fish a storm beach during the long winter nights for cod as he is fishing on the drift over sandbanks and reefs in the Channel Islands, fishing off rocks for mullet, casting a fly off the beach for bass or casting a fly on the Tweed for salmon and sea trout.

Happily he has passed on his passion to his son and they manage to fish together for a couple of weeks during the year up in Scotland, now joined regularly by another LAC member and close friend Nick Baldock. Andrew has Nick to thank for it was Nick who introduced him to and got him involved with the old ACA LAC and he has been happy to serve on the committee and as a board member of Fish Legal to give something back to the sport that he has gained so much from.

Andrew also sits on the boards of several charities and is churchwarden of a church in Bromley. In his "spare" time he has a keen interest in most sport, in particular rugby and is to be found at most home (and some away) games supporting Blackheath from the touchline.

Phil Chamberlain, Committee Member

Phil Chamberlain x550pxPhil was born in Worcestershire but has lived in and around London for the last 35 years or so. He began his angling life as a young boy coarse fishing the rivers and streams of the Midlands. Career, family and re-locations interrupted his fishing, but he picked up the sport again in his 40s becoming even more enthusiastic than before.

In recent years, Phil has spent most of his time fly-fishing in the South East of England, with trips to Slovenia, Scotland and Alaska to add to his experience. He serves as a Committee member of his local trout syndicate in Kent and is also planning to get back to coarse fishing for barbel on the rivers of the Midlands where his angling life first began.

Phil spent his whole career in financial services, with the last 30 years in the City of London working in various senior positions for Willis Towers Watson, one of the largest insurance and risk management companies in the world. Much of his professional time was spent with major UK corporates, a background Phil hopes will serve him well as a Committee member of Fish Legal. Phil retired from active business life in 2017 and now has more time to give back to angling and angling causes.

Paul Stafford, Committee Member

Paul Stafford Fish Legal CommitteePaul learnt to fish on the river Welland in Lincolnshire when he was seven and has fond memories of catching coarse fish on that river. He then moved on to fish for pike across the Fens, mainly in gravel pits before learning how to fly fish when Rutland Water was built. He is a keen fisherman who enjoys all types of fishing especially fly fishing for salmon, sea trout and trout together with sea fishing.

Paul particularly looks forward to his annual trip to the Border Esk where he has fished every year for sea trout since he was 17 and regularly fishes on the Wye and Welsh Dee. He has been lucky enough in recent years to be able to fish in various parts of the world.

Paul is a director of Welsh Dee Partnership and has been heavily involved in dealing with canoeing issues on the Welsh Dee in recent years and has built up an expertise in those issues and navigation rights. Despite having a full schedule, he still likes to spend as much time as possible on the river bank when not doing his job as a busy litigation lawyer.

Paul feels that he can assist Fish Legal and the Angling Trust because of his extensive knowledge of dealing with canoeing issues and also as an experienced dispute resolution lawyer who is a qualified mediator with experience spanning over 30 years.

Jamie Lamb, Committee Member

Jamie Lamb x350pxJamie is a qualified chartered accountant working with Grant Thornton and Arthur Andersen before leaving the profession to set up a hotel business in 2002. Jamie led this business through a period of rapid growth culminating in the successful sale of the company in 2015. Jamie still remains on the Hotel Company’s Board as Executive Chairman.

Jamie started fishing at the age of 10 fishing for carp, tench and roach on the local pond in Southampton and sea fishing from local piers. He has been a keen angler ever since and is passionate about fish conservation, managing his own lake and encouraging the wider uptake of angling.

Most of his fishing these days is on coarse lakes in Oxfordshire or fly fishing in Scotland and Hampshire with the occasional overseas trip. Jamie is also a member and treasurer of the High Cree Gamefishers, an angling club based near Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway dedicated to wild trout and salmon fishing.

Charles Nichols, Committee Member

Charles Nichols x350pxCharles has been fishing since childhood, with a particular passion for fly fishing on the chalk streams near his home. He travels widely and rarely passes up the opportunity to fish wherever he finds himself. He has fished all over England and Scotland, the United States, Iceland, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and South East Asia. He is also an enthusiastic scuba diver, witnessing first-hand the impact of global warming and pollution on the marine environment.

Charles recently swapped his executive career for the opportunity to run his own sheep farm in West Berkshire and pursue his wider outdoor interests.

During a 30 year career at Unilever, he held various senior positions in finance and general management, acquiring a breadth of experience in financial management, accounting and control, business strategy and risk management.

In addition to farming, he is a non-executive director of the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Standards Board (FMSB), and a trustee of the Unilever UK Pension Fund, where he chairs the Investment and Funding Committee. He is also is involved with the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S).

Charles is a qualified accountant and holds a BA (Hons) degree in Chemistry from Oxford University.

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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