Harold Paisner

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Harold Paisner (born 4 June 1939) is a senior partner in corporate finance at Berwin Leighton Paisner[1], having qualified in 1971. His younger brother Martin Paisner also works at the firm one constituent of which was founded by their father Leslie Paisner.


Paisner attended St Paul’s School; read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at University College, University of Oxford; and completed his Juris Doctorate Degree at the College of Law, London.

Family life

Paisner’s father, Leslie Paisner, founded Paisner & Co, which eventually became Leighton Berwin Paisner. When he retired, Harold became managing director of the company and Martin took over his charitable trusts.

Martin Paisner is a lawyer with Berwin Leighton Paisner who specialises in charity law, he is also affiliated with around one hundred charities and companies.

His son, Jonathan Paisner, is also a trained lawyer. He has worked at Leighton Berwin Paisner, Shore Capital Group and Puma Investments and currently works at Mathias Gentle Page Hassan, NetScientific and LMN Capital Partners.


Paisner & Co was a firm set up by in 1932 by Paisner’s father, Leslie Paisner, which represented major clients Penguin Books, Great Universal Stores and Forte Holdings in the 1940s and 1950s. The company is a result of the 2001 merger between Berwin Leighton and Paisner & Co. [2]

Harold Paisner initially did not want to go into law, originally working at an investment bank. After a few years with the bank he developed an interest in corporate finance and realised it would be useful to have a legal qualification, and “so it came about that I might as well do my training at my father’s firm”, he said. Harold became a partner in 1972 and when his father retired in 1976, the two Paisner brothers ‘stepped into their father’s shoes’, with Harold becoming managing partner of Berwin Leighton Paisner and Martin Paisner appointed as head of his father’s trusts practice. [3]


In 2004, whilst Paisner was a non-executive of Courts plc, the company went bankrupt, meaning the workers would lose a large part of their pensions. In 2005 he was investigated by Stephen Ross of HR Trustees for maladministration as not only was he non-executive of the company but his firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner, provided legal advice to the company at different times.[4]

Israeli work

In June 2014 Berwin Leighton Paisner advised First International Bank of Israel on the sale of its UK banking subsidiary FIBI Plc to Tungsten Corporation plc, to form Tungsten Bank. On the sale Paisner said, "This was a very important transaction for the Bank, a longstanding client of the firm, and we were delighted to have the opportunity of advising them upon it.”[5]


Paisner is involved in a lot of philanthropic work, focused on Israeli life and Zionist organisations. Berwin Leighton Paisner also act as lawyers for a number of charities including the Jewish Philanthropic Association For Israel & The Middle East and the United Jewish Israel Appeal.


In 1998 N M Rothschild & Sons wanted to encourage city financers to make investments into the West Bank and Gaza. Jonathan Penkin, the director of ABN Amro Rothschild, who has represented the bank in Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt returned from the area with a delegation including Paisner and Lord Levene, the Mayor of London, convinced that the bank could play a leading role in introducing city investors to the area. The Rothschilds have history in the region; the family helped to finance early Jewish settlements, it runs a charitable trust that funds philanthropic projects in Israel and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was known to have little time for the policies of the then right-wing Israeli government and hoped to help establish the firm foundations of the fledging Palestinian economy. [6]

Paisner’s links with the Rothschild family also extends to their work with the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, with Lord Rothschild holding the position as honorary president. [7]

Ben Gurion University

Paisner was appointed president of the Ben Gurion University Foundation in 2011.[8] The foundation is a registered charity that provides aid in various cities around Israel; concentrating on education and training. The board is made up of Eric Charles, Harold and his brother Martin Paisner. In 2009 they raised £682,566 and spent £760,829. [9]

In 2011 he was responsible for the establishment of Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society at Ben Gurion University, [8] and he is currently chair of the international advisory board.[10] The Centre was set up in order to “promote a greater awareness within Israel, of the growing importance of Europe and of the European Union.[11]

In 2011, in his role as president of the Ben Gurion University Foundation, Paisner presented the Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award to the UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The award which, ‘acknowledges and rewards people whose deeds reflect tolerance, hope and vision - those aspects so essential to the survival of the human race.’ Paisner called Sacks a “true beacon of hope, who brilliantly advances Jewish values to the wider community” and he is a “gift to the Anglo-Jewish community, and British society as a whole.”[12]


Charity name Charity number Position Dates position held Co-trustees
The Barnett Shine Foundation 218365 Trustee 07/11/1963 - 04/03/2005
The Institute for Jewish Policy Research 252626 Trustee 18/03/1970- June Jacobs, Lord Simon Haskel, Baroness Julia Neuberger, Brian Smouha, Vicki V R Harris, Mark Goldberg, Peter F Halban, Catherine Fieschi, Dominique Moisi, Susan Neiman, Joanna Frances Newman, Goran Rosenberg, Peter Levy
The Bedford Square Charitable Trust 264631 Trustee 04/10/1972 - 16/09/2009
Ben Gurion University Foundation 276203 Trustee 27/07/1978- Martin Paisner, Eric Charles, David Wernick, Jonathan Prevezer, Conrad Sandler, Lord Weidenfeld of Chelsea, Raymond Pollock, Sidney Corob, Miriam Hyams, Norman Hyams, Hyman Kreitman, Spencer Lawson
The Friends of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association of Israel 294738 Trustee 27/06/1986 - 24/09/1998
The British Friends of the ADL 1007494 Trustee 17/01/1992 - 07/08/2002
Paisner Charitable Trust 275087 Trustee Martin Paisner

Institute for Jewish Policy Research

Paisner was appointed chairman of the think tank Institute for Jewish Policy Research in 1997.[13][7]

Other members of the IJPR include Lord Rothschild, honorary president; Stephen Moss, vice-chairman and a former trustee on the Jewish Leadership Council, former governor of the Leo Baeck Rabbinic College and a trustee of JCoSS (a Jewish secondary school in New Barnet, London) and Jewish Child’s Day[14]; Lord Haskel, president and former trustee of the Israel-Diaspora Trust[15], a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel[16]; Peter Levy, vice-president and former chairman of the Jewish Chronicle.[17]

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Berwin Leighton Paisner has a 'small but historic specialism' in charities. Its 'charities practice has survived through the transformations that have taken place', in the firm, 'if only because the senior partners do a lot of charities trustee work and rely on the firm for assistance."'[18] According to the head of the Tax department at BLP, Michael Wistow, charities work allows the firm to explore 'synergies' with the firms work for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm 'only' targets 'the most profitable work'. According to Wistow 'We're not acting for a charity walking in off the street… We act for a number of billionaires and half- billionaires [and] sometimes they take the decision to go all philanthropic on us.'[18]

Barnett Shine Charitable Foundation

Harold, as well as his brother Martin, is a trustee at the charity Barnett Shine Charitable Foundation.[19] The Barnett Shine Charitable Foundation donated £300,000 to the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, a charity Martin Paisner is on the board of trustees of, to provide income for general purposes but with the power to ‘apply the whole or any part of the Trust Fund whether capital or income in or towards the implementation of any one or more of the objects of the Trust’. In 2000, £178,468 was transferred to settle a deficit on unrestricted funds, leaving a balance of £121,532 that has remained until at least 2006.[20]

The Bedford Square Charitable Trust

Both Harold and Martin were trustees at The Bedford Square Charitable Trust. The registered address for the charity is ‘c/o(Care of) Berwin Leighton Paisner, Adelaide House, London Bridge, London, EC4R 9HA’.[21]

The Friends of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association of Israel

Harold was a trustee at The Friends of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association Israel, a charity registered in June 1986 and removed in September 1998. The charity was set up ‘to promote the prevention and cure of chest and lung diseases of all descriptions including tuberculosis, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer in the state of Israel’.[22]

The British Friends of the A D L

Harold was a trustee at The British Friends of the ADL, a charity registered in January 1992 and removed in August 2002. The charity was set up ‘to advance public education in the causes of discrimination against minority communities wheresoever in the world situate and in particular in all matter relating to the history etc. of the Jewish people and to promote racial harmony and good race relations within England and Wales.'[23] Presumably this was an organisation set up to channel funds to the US based Anti Defamation League.

The Painser Charitable Trust

Both Harold and Martin are trustees at The Paisner Charitable Trust. ‘The charity engages in a varying range of charitable giving to registered charities, embracing particularly the relief of those in need and the advancement of health and education.’ In 2013 the charity had an income of £3,786 and outgoings of £3,850.[24]


Harold sits on the board of many companies and charities as a director, secretary or LLP member.

Company name Dissolved? Role Date of Appointment Date of resignation
L M N Capital Limited Yes Director 20/07/2011 -
Puma High Income VCT plc No Director 07/10/09 23/11/14
Puma VCT 11 plc No Director 01/10/2014 -
Family Trustee Company Limited Yes – 16/01/2013 Director 28/03/1991 N/A
Aon Surety & Guarantee Limited Yes – 17/08/2004 Secretary 15/10/1993 6/11/1993
Carpet Manufacturing Company Limited Yes – 09/02/1993 Director 12/03/1991 N/A
E.I.B.X Limited Yes – 14/01/1993 Director 15/04/1991 N/A
Think plc Yes Director 30/04/1993 05/09/2001
Edgbaston Investment Trust Limited Yes – 02/06/1995 Director 18/07/1991 N/A
Kinsdale Investments Limited Yes – 12/02/2004 Director 22/06/1992 N/A
Estates & Agency Holdings Limited No Director 14/08/1991 27/08/2004
Carpet International Nominees Limited Yes – 16/02/1993 Director 21/03/1991 N/A
Estates & Agency (Barking) Limited Yes – 07/06/1995 Director 18/07/1991 N/A
H A E Trustees Limited Yes – 01/04/2009 Director 28/11/1991 30/03/1993
Estates & Agency (Blakes Market) Limited Yes – 02/06/1995 Director 18/07/1991 N/A
74 Portland Place Limited Yes – 20/04/2011 Director and Secretary 13/09/1992 03/06/1998
Robert Fleming Finance (Number 2) Limited Yes – 19/12/2001 Director 03/01/1992 03/01/1995
Trident Investments Holding Company Limited Yes – 22/12/1998 Director 28/10/1992 N/A
Debron Investments Limited Yes – 15/01/1993 Director 28/03/1991 N/A
IFSE Limited Yes – 20/06/1992 Director 20/03/1991 N/A
Intersept (Europe) Limited Yes – 23/06/1992 Director 18/03/1991 N/A
Rollins Hudig Hall (Nederland) Limited Yes – 13/04/2010 Director 28/02/1991 30/06/1993
Highplain Limited Yes – 20/12/2000 Director 07/12/1993 N/A
Paisner Limited Yes – 22/07/2003 Director 15/03/1999 N/A
Salter Paper Group Limited Yes – 09/08/2012 Director 15/03/1999 N/A
Courts Plc Yes – 26/11/2010 Director 30/04/1993 05/09/2001
Paisner Services Yes – 14/10/2003 Director 29/12/1993 N/A
Inlandglide Limited Yes – 10/02/1998 Director 31/03/1991 N/A
Lomas (UK) Limited Yes – 16/03/1993 Director 07/11/1991 N/A
Lomas Estates Limited Yes – 16/03/1993 Director 07/11/1991 N/A
Clydemoors Limited Yes – 25/05/1993 Director 24/10/1991 N/A
Surety & Guarantee Consultants Limited Yes – 03/06/2003 Director 29/06/1993 19/06/1994
Brymoors (City) Limited Yes – 25/05/1993 Director 24/10/1991 N/A
Lomas Investments Limited Yes – 16/03/1993 Director 07/11/1991 N/A
Brymoors Limited Yes – 25/05/1993 Director 24/10/1991 N/A
New Queens Hall Orchestra Yes Director 27/02/1992 14/04/1997
London & Partners International Not trading Director 11/06/2002 31/03/2011
Endeavour (Europe) Limited No Director 22/12/1991 22/12/1993
Interface Flooring Systems (UK) Limited Yes – 15/01/1993 Director 28/03/1991 N/A
G I N D Limited Yes Director 10/08/1989 10/08/1989
The Institute for Jewish Policy Research No Director 11/11/1997 -
Ben Gurion University Foundation No Director 23/04/1997 -
Linpac Group Holdings Limited No Director 01/06/1991 21/08/2003
Tungsten Bank Plc No Director 24/02/2004 14/03/2012
Berwin Leighton Paisner No LLP Member 30/11/2005 -
Trident Investments Company No Director and Secretary 28/10/1992 29/01/1998
Lin Pac Inc No Director and Secretary 15/04/1981 26/08/2001
74 Portland Place Residents Ltd Yes – 07/02/2006 Director 30/03/1993 20/09/2000


  1. BLP Law Harold Paisner, accessed 3 June 2015.
  2. BLP Law About BLP, accessed 23 November 2014.
  3. Suzi Ring [Starting out strong] Legal Week, 29 September 2011, accessed 23 November 2014.
  4. Christine Seib and Neelam Verjee [Anomalies alleged by holders of Court’s pensions] The Times, 12 February 2005, accessed 23 November 2014.
  5. [BLP acts for First International Bank of Israel on sale of its UK bank 16 June 2014] News Bites, 26 June 2014, accessed 23 November 2014.
  6. Matthew Kalman [Rothschild wants City to invest in Palestine] The Sunday Times, 27 December 1998, accessed 23 November 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Institute for Jewish Policy Research Governance, accessed 23 November 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Greer Fay Cashman A little piece of Boston Jerusalem Post, 15 March 2011, accessed 23 November 2014.
  9. Bizdb Ben Gurion University Foundation, accessed 23 November 2014.
  10. Ben Gurion University Foundation July 2013 Newsletter, accessed 23 November 2014
  11. Europe Ben Gurion University About CSEPS, accessed 12 December 2014.
  12. Jerusalem Post Staff [BGU honors UK Chief Rabbi Sacks] Jerusalem Post, 10 March 2011, accessed 23 November 2014.
  13. Institute for Jewish Policy Research JPR accounts 2009, accessed 23 November 2014.
  14. Stephen Moss About, accessed 12 December 2014.
  15. Parliament Publications Register of Lords’ Interests, accessed 12 December 2014.
  16. Labour Friends of Israel LFI supporters in parliament, accessed 12 December 2014.
  17. Peter Levy stands down as JC Chairman Jewish Chronicle, 9 December 2008, accessed 12 December 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Luke McLeod-Roberts [BLP hiring spree and tax umbrella policy paves way for City supremacy] ‘’The Lawyer’’, 21 June 2010, Pg. 11.
  19. Open Charities Barnett Shine Foundation, accessed 28 November 2014.
  20. The British Institute of International and Comparative Law Annual Report and Financial Statements 31 December 2006, accessed 28 November 2014.
  21. Charity Choice Bedford Square Charitable Trust, accessed 28 November 2014.
  22. Charity Commission The Friends of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association of Israel, accessed 28 November 2014.
  23. Charity Commission The British Friends of the A D L, accessed 28 November 2014.
  24. Charity Commission The Paisner Charitable Trust, accessed 28 November 2014.