Since 31 January 2018, the sole trustee of the Thalidomide Trust has been ‘Thalidomide Trust Company’. The individuals who served as charity trustees before that date now serve as the directors of the trustee company. However, we continue to refer them as trustees internally for continuity and because their role within the Trust remains unchanged. Our current trustees are:

Sir Robert Nelson

Chair of Trustees

Trustee since December 2010

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A retired judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division.

Marlene Winfield OBE


Vice – Chair of Trustees

Trustee since July 2009

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A senior executive in the NHS with specific responsibility for patient advocacy.

Committees: Health & Wellbeing (Co-Chair), Finance

Mark Benstead BA, MBA

Trustee since May 2015

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Senior fixed income fund manager at Legal and General Investment Management.

Previous experience at AXA Investment Managers, Royal Bank of Canada and Hambros Bank. Experienced across all classes of fixed income debt with a wide variety of clients.

Commitees: Finance

David Body


Trustee since January 2015

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Until 30th April 2015, David was National Head of the Product Liability Team at Irwin Mitchell and had specialised in medical negligence and product liability work since the mid 1980s.

His specific areas of medical negligence expertise are claims arising from birth and paediatric injury, anaesthetic and neurosurgical accidents, and he has experience of most types of claims arising from failures to diagnose and treat.
In the 1990s he dealt with many product liability claims arising from the use of contaminated growth hormone which caused Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and represented the families of CJD victims at the BSE inquiry. He has spent a good part of the last decade running a group action against Sanofi on behalf of the injured children of epileptic women who took sodium valproate during pregnancy.

Commitees: Health & Wellbeing

Professor Tim Briggs, MD(Res), MCh(Ort), FRCS

Medical Trustee

Trustee since July 2015

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  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore
  • Director of Strategy & External Affairs, RNOH, Stanmore
  • Past President, British Orthopaedic Association
  • Training Programme Director, RNOH/Royal Free Training Programme
  • Member of Council, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Chair of Federation of Specialist Hospitals
  • Founder Member of Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance
  • Chair of National Reference Group for Specialist Orthopaedics

Committees: Research, Health & Wellbeing

Mark Spofforth OBE, BSC, FCA, CTA, FRSA

Trustee since December 2013

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Senior Partner of Spofforths Chartered Accountants, former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Lecturer and broadcaster on financial matters. Member of Lord Hodgson’s 2012 review of the Charities Act 2006.

Committees: Finance

Kevin R Wesbroom MA, MA FIA

Trustee since December 2010

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A leading actuary with Aon Hewitt, formerly a Partner in the actuarial firm Bacon and Woodrow.

A specialist in pensions risk, dealing with the interaction of investments and pensions. Second degree in e-commerce.

Committees: Finance (Chair)

Professor Andrew Owens MD, FRCS(CTh)

Clinical Trustee

Trustee since January 2020

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Professor Owens is currently a consultant cardiac surgeon at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, where he was previously a medical director, R&D director and clinical director.

He was awarded a Hunterian Professorship from the Royal College of Surgeons and currently holds honorary academic appointments with Newcastle, Teesside and Durham Universities.

Committees: Health & Wellbeing & Claims

Professor Adrian Newland CBE

Clinical Trustee

Trustee since January 2020

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Adrian Newland is Professor of Haematology at Queen Mary University of London and Honorary Consultant at Barts Health NHS Trust.

He is ex-Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Diagnostic Assessment Programme and co-chairs the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In-Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE-IVD) and is a member of the peer review group for the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer. He is Specialist Clinical Advisor in Pathology for NHS Improvement. He was President of the Royal College of Pathologists from 2005–2008 and the International Society of Hematology (ISH) from 2014–2016.

Committees: Health & Wellbeing & Research

Professor Rosemary Varley

Research Trustee

Trustee since April 2020

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Rosemary Varley is Professor in the Faculty of Brain Sciences/Division of Psychology & Language Sciences at University College London. She undertakes research into cognitive impairments following brain injury, particularly in stroke and dementia. She has published research articles in major international journals such as Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, New York Academy of Sciences and Stroke. Her research is funded by government research councils and charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society and the Stroke Association.

Committees: Health & Wellbeing & Research