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Stuart Armstrong SFIIRSM
Meet Our Members
Stuart is a Solicitor and the Managing Director of SVArmstrong Ltd
“Any professional whose role encompasses environmental, integrated risk or security management will find that IIRSM suits their roles and expertise better than other professional institutions”
Leading lawyer and Specialist Fellow Stuart Armstrong has been a member for almost two decades, since he studied for the Nebosh General Certificate. “I joined IIRSM because of its international reach,” he says. “I was working for an international law firm at the time, specialising in health and safety and environmental defence work, and was looking to add an international dimension to the practise.”
After being recognised by the Legal 500 as Number 1 for Health and Safety in Yorkshire & the Humber from 2004-2008, he formed SVArmstrong Ltd as a niche regulatory law firm. As well as taking on clients involved in the most serious incidents in the UK and overseas, the firm also acts for organisations that are implementing systems to help them to manage risks more effectively. He provides external assistance with integrated risk management, corporate governance support, executive level advice and independent external scrutiny, as well as managing internal compliance, legal practice, finance and administration within the business.
“IIRSM has always been a friendly organisation with very helpful staff,” says Stuart. “The conferences are always interesting. I have been lucky enough to be asked to speak at several IIRSM events, most recently sharing a platform with former HSE chair Judith Hackitt.”
Stuart believes that over the years the institute has become more inclusive and says the growing branch network is one example of this, playing an important part in providing a sense of belonging to a membership organisation. “Branch meetings enable like-minded individuals to exchange good practice ideas or to act as a sounding board for specific topics,” he says. “The speakers at local events have been practical, enthusiastic and interesting, it’s just difficult sometimes to attend all the events.”
He says the magazines received as part of his membership are the best source of useful information on risk management topics. “The high quality of the editorial staff and their articles have consistently shown the way when it comes to undertaking any research or developing knowledge about specific issues. I feel well informed about recent developments and am able to rely on the magazines to provide warning of new and major developments.”
Stuart has recommended IIRSM to other risk management professionals – “not just safety practitioners but also those interested in wider risk management,” he explains. “Any professional whose role encompasses environmental, integrated risk or security management will find that IIRSM suits their roles and expertise better than other professional institutions,” he adds.“IIRSM has an ethos of serving its members’ interests, unlike some other member organisations which seem to treat their members as a cash cow to be milked whenever a new project or initiative needs financing.”
Looking ahead, Stuart would like to see more dual qualified legal professionals taking part in the institute and for IIRSM to develop its integrated risk management credentials in the UK and overseas. He would like to see more lobbying on particular issues, and for IIRSM to take a lead on corporate reporting of environmental, social and governance matters at board level in smaller companies.