NORRIS McDONOUGH LLP
Steve Norris is a rare beast having combined a long parliamentary and ministerial career with a successful career in business. Educated at the Liverpool Institute and Oxford University where he was President of the University Law Society and gained an MA (Hons) in Jurisprudence he spent his early years in business with Burroughs and Ford Motor Company. By the age of 26 he was Managing Director of a UK quoted company and by 33 he was working for himself first in engineering and then in automotive distribution.
In 1977 Steve joined Berkshire County Council where he became Deputy Leader. In 1983 he was selected as Conservative candidate for the marginal constituency of Oxford East which he won in the same year. In 1985 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to William (now Lord) Waldegrave then Minister of State at the Department of the Environment. He lost the seat in the 1987 general Election but was selected for and won the by-election in Epping Forest caused by the death of Sir John Biggs-Davison. The following year he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the late Nicholas Ridley, then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade. In 1990 he moved to the Home Office as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary Kenneth (now Lord) Baker.
In 1992 Steve was appointed Minister for Transport with a special responsibility for London. He served in that role for almost five years which sparked the great passions which have characterised his life thereafter, namely a love of London as his adopted city, an
obsession with infrastructure and the value of quality in the built
environment. He was the minister who pushed through the extension of London’s Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and Stratford against substantial Treasury opposition. Since opening in 2000 the line has created literally billions of value in East London. With Lord Andrew Adonis he has co-chaired studies into East London river crossings and on South London rail capacity.
Recognising that by 1997 it was inevitable that his party faced a long period in opposition Steve retired from Parliament to resume his business career. But while you can take the boy out of politics you can never take the politics out of the boy. He successfully persuaded his party not to oppose the concept of an elected mayor in London and was his party’s candidate for the role in 2000 and 2004 losing to London’s first elected mayor Ken Livingstone but outperforming the national party on both occasions and becoming one of London’s best known political figures in the process.
Steve is now both a board member of a number of companies and a strategic advisor to several others in the fields of transport, infrastructure and property. In the UK property world he is one of Property Week’s Property Power 100 and is Chairman of Soho Estates which controls around 60 acres of London’s Soho. He is also Chairman of London Resort Company Holdings, developers of the £3.5 billion entertainment resort project in North Kent. He is Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s arms-length property company, This Land and advises a number of private and quoted developers on major residential and commercial schemes.
In the infrastructure world he is Chair of the Council of the National Infrastructure Planning Association and Chairman of AIM listed Driver Group plc, world leaders in expert witness and dispute resolution in civil engineering. He advises on major brownfield developments across the whole of the UK. In the field of transportation he was a member of the board of Transport for London under Mayor Johnson and is Deputy Chairman of Optare plc, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland itself a part of the Hinduja Group of Companies, which manufactures all- electric buses in the UK. He is a member of the board of directors of NYSE listed Cubic Corporation Inc of San Diego CA, the defence and transportation technology specialists who are developers of the London Oyster card and similar systems worldwide. He is also President of ITS-UK, part of the worldwide family of intelligent transport technology public and private sector not for profit organisations that share ground breaking innovation in transport technology.
Steve is a former Chairman of the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards, currently a Vice-President of Action for Hearing Loss, a Patron of The Urology Foundation and Chairman of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, a Companion of the Institution of Civil Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management. Steve is a Commissioner of the Independent Transport Commission and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of East London.
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