National seat

Mark Shillito

Region: London, South East region

BASC membership: 12 years

Proposed by: G Mulley

Seconded by: M Hitching

I am a Yorkshire-born solicitor who grew up in Devon. I have worked in the City since 1987 and now divide my time between London and Norfolk. I am a keen shot and fly fisherman. I have been a BASC member since 2008 and a life member of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust since 1998. I was a member of the Wild Trout Trust from its inception.

I am 55 and married, with twin teenage daughters and an unruly wire-haired fox terrier. I enjoy doing anything which involves hitting a target, as well as fly fishing, skiing, motorcycles, food and art.

The future of fieldsports is at a significant juncture. Those reading this will need no convincing that, were it not for their assiduous conservation of habitat, the countryside would be a very different place – more homogenous, less biodiverse and less economically sustainable.

Yet, with an increasingly urban electorate, it has never been more important for BASC to make the positive case for the wide-ranging benefits of fieldsports in the conservation of our countryside. I would relish the opportunity to help BASC do that, to influence policy and to secure the future of shooting for the benefit of all those who live, work or take pleasure in the restorative powers of the countryside. I have relevant experience which can help.

Since 1996, I have been a partner in a leading international law firm (Herbert Smith Freehills), with annual turnover approaching £1 billion. We are about 5,000 people worldwide and are fortunate to have the market-leading reputation for dispute resolution work, among other areas. I led the UK/US disputes practice until 2018. Since 2011, I have led the global intellectual property practice.

I have 30 years’ experience in resolving complex commercial, policy and people issues. I have built, led and worked in many successful teams. I am used to dealing with individuals and companies, governments and NGOs, trade bodies and select committees. I have held a variety of senior leadership roles, including terms on my firm’s main and UK executive boards, our Audit and Finance Committee and our People and Policies Group. I have been involved in numerous special projects, including reviews of global strategy, corporate values and remuneration policy. I was part of the core team which delivered the merger of our two large predecessor law firms and their subsequent integration into one successful entity.

Straightforward and collaborative, I combine suspension of judgment with appropriate constructive challenge. I am a confident public speaker but prefer to spend at least as much of my time listening as I am talking. I find I learn more that way. I have chaired multiple discussion groups, seeking out as many points of view as possible, to strengthen our decisions. I am interested in doing business well and in getting the best out of people. I believe that doing the right thing and satisfying commercial imperatives need not be mutually exclusive concepts. Quite the contrary.


The election results are due to be announced at the BASC AGM on 11 July 2020.