The Master

The Master is the most senior member of the Company who chairs its governing body, the Court, and represents the Paviors Company externally. The Master normally serves a one-year term of office and is elected by the Court of Assistants. He or she is supported by two Wardens who, in normal circumstances, are expected to succeed to the position. There is a four-year ladder to Master: 1) Second Warden-in-Nomination, 2) First Warden-in-Nomination, 3) Renter Warden, 4) Upper Warden, and 5) Master.

The Current Master

Roderick Hugh Alexander MacDougald was installed as the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Paviors at a ceremony held in St Martin-within-Ludgate on Wednesday 4 March 2020. Hugh succeeded immediate Past Master Sue Illman. Also installed were Neil Sandberg as Upper Warden and John May as Renter Warden.

Hugh was born in Nova Scotia, the youngest of five children, to an army officer father from Montreal and a professional homemaker from Winnipeg. After tours of duty in India and Kashmir, his parents decided to settle in the UK in 1960, and Hugh is now the holder of a British passport. Educated in the West Country in Sherborne, Winchester and Exeter University, Hugh acquired a law degree, before attending the College of Law in Guildford in the 1970’s. He was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1979.

So began a long period of legal practice which is still continuing. Early education in the complex affairs of wealthy families was at Macfarlanes, where he was indebted to the mentoring of several of the most eminent lawyers in London. In 1986, Hugh joined the firm of Winckworth Sherwood, a niche firm then in Westminster whose special areas included housing, commercial property, the Church, education, parliamentary agency and, importantly, private clients. Still a partner in the firm over 30 years later, he hopes he has assisted in growing the practice from eight to 60 partners over that time. He has served as Head of Private Clients, on the Management Board, and Chair of Training. He has been privileged to be solicitor to many of the great and good families of the land, and has done his best to steer them away from legal pitfalls.

When not practising the law, Hugh involves himself in various voluntary activities, including acting as Trustee of the English Chamber Orchestra, serving on the Campaign and Investment Boards of Exeter University, and assisting the Crown & Manor Boys Club in Hackney which is supported by Old Wykehamists.

Hugh and his partner Olivia Talbot divide their private time between homes in London, Dorset and Pembrokeshire, and between them have five lovely and entertaining children. When not skiing, sailing, shooting or Munro bashing in the Highlands of Scotland, Hugh is happy with more sedate cultural pursuits such as opera and theatre.

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