City of London Corporation

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The City of London Corporation (formerly known as the Corporation of London[1])

It is the municipal governing body of the City of London. It exercises control only over the City (the "Square Mile," so called for its approximate area), and not over Greater London. It has three main aims: to promote the Business City as the world's leading international financial and business centre; to provide high-quality local government services; and to provide a range of additional services for the benefit of London, Londoners and the nation.

The City of London Corporation is formally termed the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, thus including the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, and the Court of Common Council.

Local government legislation often makes special provision for the City to be treated as a London borough.

The City of London does not generally exercise authority over two historic extra-parochial areas, the Middle Temple and the Inner Temple, which are adjoining enclaves for two of the Inns of Court in the west of the City. Some statutory functions of the Corporation extend into these two areas.

Elite and secretive

The Corporation is run, as the Sunday Times put it in 1995, by an:

“exclusive coterie of men who rule the City of London according to conventions laid down in medieval times... at least 21 of the 25 aldermen attended top public schools including Eton, Harrow, Charterhouse, Radley, Haileybury, Rugby and Stowe. They are drawn from some of the most prestigious City names, including Rothschilds and Linklaters & Paines... The City was the only local authority allowed to keep its aldermen when they were abolished elsewhere in 1972. Aldermen wine and dine regularly at the Mansion House, home of the lord mayor of London, and at Guildhall, the official headquarters. They rub shoulders with prime ministers and ministers, not only from Britain, but from abroad. Each alderman gets a turn as lord mayor, for which he is given the use of two Rolls-Royces, travel expenses and the right to live in the Mansion House. There are 230 lunches, dinners and banquets each year at the Mansion House, which has extensive wine cellars and 37 staff." [2]

Co-sponsored conference on how business can influence Brexit

In November 2017 legal and lobbying firm DLA Piper sponsored a conference in London on 'The EU Withdrawal Bill: Practical Implications for UK Business' in association with the City of London Corporation.[3] The conference was chaired by DLA Piper's Brexit Director Paul Hardy.

The Director General of Department for Exiting the European Union, Sarah Healey, gave a keynote speech at the conference.

The day included a panel discussion on 'practical implications of the EU Withdrawal Bill for business: Influencing'. The panel features DLA Piper's Lord Tim Clement-Jones, described in the programme as the firm's 'head of government affairs', aka lobbying, although Clement-Jones describes himself on his register of interests as simply a 'Managing Partner' of the London office.[4]

The panel was set to discuss the following issues:

  • How can business influence the content of the Bill?
  • How can it influence the content of delegated legislation made under the Bill?
  • Do current Parliamentary scrutiny procedures provide sufficient opportunity for business lobbying? Should they provide more?

How, or why, or who might be wanting to influence the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, a crucial piece of legislation which transfers all EU laws into British laws, isn't known, though. Tickets to the conference were priced at £595.00 (plus VAT).



  • Quiller Consultants - George Bridges of Quiller was appointed as an external public affairs consultant in January 2011 for a two-year period, supported by Quiller staffer Alasdair Murray (a former director of the LibDem think tank CentreForum). The authority told Public Affairs News that more than 40 firms had submitted tender proposals for what was a competitive process' for this contract. [7] Prior to this Quiller had a seven-month contract from after the 2010 May general election until December 2010 'to provide initial advice on the implications of the policies and actions of the coalition government’. [8]
  • Lord Jack Cunningham - former cabinet minister and a director of lobbying firm Sovereign Strategy who reportedly was hired to give political advice to the Corporation in September 2006. In the first year, the corporation paid £48,000 for this work to him and Sovereign Strategy.
According to documents obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act, Cunningham gave the corporation confidential advice about two bills going through parliament which affected the authority. In one of the bills, the corporation opposed plans to give Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, greater powers in planning matters on the grounds that they would damage the City. He also faced questions over his apparent failure to declare his consultancy with the corporation in the House of Lords register of financial interests.[9]

Working groups

  • The City of London's International Regulatory Strategy Group (the “Group”) was formed out of the EU Advisory Group. Its remit is to cover the international dimension as well as EU related issues. It acts as an advisory body to the City of London Corporation and to TheCityUK. Membership of the Group is by invitation, with members participating in a personal capacity. The Group is chaired by André Villeneuve. In its own words it:
aims to shape the international regulatory regime, at global, regional, and national level, so that it promotes open, competitive and fair capital markets globally that support sustainable economic growth and in which the international financial services markets in the City and other financial centres across the EU can play a full role.
assists the continuing development of the UK (and in particular the City) as an international financial services provider and an international market place, complementing the activities of participating individual interests, represented by trade associations, financial services firms, trading platforms and infrastructures for the benefit also of the EU and third country economies.
  • EU Regulatory Working Group (currently 60 City practitioners and trade associations) which meets regularly 'to share intelligence on emerging issues at EU-level and to consider the most appropriate form of action'.
Members of the Group also participate in issue-specific briefings arranged both for individual MEPs and for delegations from the key European Parliament Committees (held both in London and Brussels), together with networking events targeted at Member State Permanent Representations. [10]


Through its private and charitable funds the City of London Corporation has funded five different Policy Exchange research projects at a total cost of £84,200. It has also given £3,000 of public money to Policy Exchange for organising fringe events at Conservative Party conferences.[11]




City of London
PO Box 270,
London, EC2P 2EJ

Website City of London

External resources


  1. The body was popularly known as the Corporation of London but on 10 November 2005 the Corporation announced that its informal title would from 3 January 2006 be the City of London (or the City of London Corporation where the corporate body needed to be distinguished from the geographical area). This may reduce confusion between the Corporation and the Greater London Authority.
  2. Shunned alderman takes on the City5 Mar 95, Sunday Times.
  3. The EU Withdrawal Bill conference, City and Financial Conferences, accessed Nov 2017
  4. Lord Clement Jones, Parliamentary profile, accessed Nov 2017
  5. People Moves, Public Affairs News, p9. May 2011
  6. City Office in Brussels Team, Mike Vercnocke, Head of Office, City of London website, accessed 29 May 2012
  7. Ian Hall, City of London Corporation reveals its new public affairs adviser, People Moves: Public Affairs News, 31 January 2011 acc 5 Jan 2012
  8. City of London tenders for external public affairs support, PAN, 6 October 2010
  9. David Hencke and Rob EvansEx-minister is paid to secure meetings with government Guardian, Feb 2008
  10. City of London Corporation, EU Working Groups, accessed 30 May 2012
  11. Rob McNamara, Executive Officer to the Director of Public Relations, City of London, email to Tom Mills 23 March 2010 11:12.