Meet our Team
Our team of international consultants all have significant experience and expertise in border management including immigration, customs, police and security controls both in the UK and overseas.
Tony Smith CBE
TONY SMITH is a global expert in border security and leadership.
Tony retired as Director General of the UK Border Force in March 2013, after completing over 40 years’ service in the UK Home Office.
Tony was the Senior Responsible Owner and gold commander for the UK Border Agency’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Programme. He delivered his mission to contribute to a safe secure and inspirational Olympic Games by facilitating the entry of the vast majority of people and goods coming to the Games, whilst protecting the public from those that may cause harm.
Tony was educated at St Clement Danes Grammar school in West London. He is a qualified legal executive and an accredited Programme Sponsor. He started his career as an immigration caseworker in 1972 and has a long and distinguished career in the UK Immigration Service having served at all grades from immigration officer through to Director General, culminating in his appointment as Director General of UK Border Force in 2012.
Tony has the unique distinction of having served as Head of Borders in 2 different countries – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2000 – 2003) and the UK Immigration Service (2005 – 2007). He played a significant role in the operational response to the terrorist attacks in North America on 9/11 and in the UK on 7/7. Tony also led the development and establishment of local immigration teams across London and the South East, and the delivery of Home Office PSA targets on removals and case conclusions (2007 – 2009).
Tony (full name Anthony John Smith) was awarded the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the UK New Year’s Honours List 2013, for his services to the safety and security of the London 2012 Olympics.
He is now a global border security expert and leadership consultant.
Currently working as a senior customs consultant with Fortinus Global to support businesses develop and implement new border strategies, software products and wider customer services, helping UK importers and exporters negotiate UK border controls and customs procedures, facilitating international trade and economic growth.
Kevin retired from the Civil Service as Director Customs Transformation at HM Revenue and Customs, after completing 43 years of service in the Public Sector. His Civil Service career had four key themes: International trade policy and practice; business systems, IT and efficiency; delivery of large-scale change; and law enforcement at the border.
He offers a unique perspective on Customs controls and International Trade facilitation, having led the implementation of customs and trade policies; worked in port operating environments; and delivered large-scale border change programmes in the UK and the US, during a career in which he worked at four Whitehall Departments – HM Customs & Excise; HM Revenue and Customs; Department for Trade and Industry; and the Home Office.
Kevin began his career with HM Customs & Excise in 1977 as an import specialist in the regional office of London Port. He moved to Customs HQ in 1987 where he was instrumental in delivering the design, development and implementation of the national automated customs declaration system (CHIEF), supporting all movements of goods in and out of the UK and collects annually, over £30bn of tax and duties.
He later worked with the US Customs Service to lead a joint UK/USA project in partnership with multi-national companies to modernise international trade procedures and deliver a single automated system to manage imports and exports between the two countries.
Kevin joined the Home Office in 2008 to lead the integration of the work, people and operating procedures of Customs and the Border and Immigration Agency at the main points of entry to the UK, establishing a unified Border Force in 2009.
Before returning to HMRC in December 2013 as Director of its Department-wide Change Portfolio, Kevin was Head of Intelligence and then Director National Customs Operations at the Border Force.
In 2014 Kevin was appointed Director Customs Transformation, leading the development, build, test and implementation of a Government Major Programme called Customs Declaration Services(CDS), the largest system operating at the UK border designed to collect £34bn of revenue each year and supporting the introduction of new Customs legislation. He also led cross-Whitehall initiatives designed to bring together border-related strategies and technologies with a singular vision to transform the experience of people moving goods in and out of the UK without compromise to border security.
Following the EU referendum in June 2016 his role expanded to lead the delivery of changes to over 30 HMRC systems (covering customs, indirect tax and trade statistics policies and requirements) to support the UK’s exit from the EU, together with the implementation of contingency measures to support the Government’s plans should the UK have left the EU without a deal.
In the 12 months preceding his retirement from the Civil Service in October 2020 Kevin led major programmes to support the introduction of a NI Protocol at the end of the UK’s transition period. These programmes included major change to the customs declaration platforms; arrangements to support the UK’s safety and security; the design of a future operating model to support movements of Ro/Ro traffic in and out of the UK; arrangements to facilitate UK business interfaces with EU systems; and the introduction of a new trade support service to help businesses comply with customs legislation and policies, including the submission of customs declarations to HMRC systems to facilitate imports and exports.
Kevin is a graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA), established by the Cabinet Office and Oxford University to transform the implementation of Government policy through world-class delivery of major projects; and is accredited as external Review Team Leader and Review Team Member, qualified to review high-risk major government programmes on behalf of the IPA (part of the Cabinet Office).
Glyn Williams CB
Glyn Williams is a senior strategic advisor and renowned expert in immigration and border control.
Glyn entered the world of immigration and borders in 2006 as a director of UKvisas, which was transforming the visa service under the leadership of Mark Sedwill. He subsequently held senior positions as director of immigration policy and head of asylum operations before becoming Director General for Immigration and Border policy in 2017, a post he held in various guises until his retirement at the end of 2021.
Glyn has extensive international experience. He led the UK negotiating team on the Citizens’ Rights chapter of the EU Withdrawal Agreement in 2017/18 and also on the internal security chapter of the UK-EU future relations agreement, reporting to Olly Robbins and then David Frost. He coordinated Home Office no deal planning and preparation for the end of the transitional period in 2020. He was co-chair of the Anglo-French Migration Committee and from 2018 led all discussions with the French Ministry of the Interior on small boats and other migration matters. He co-chaired the Common Travel Area Forum with Ireland and concluded various post-Brexit migration agreements with Switzerland. He was the UK representative to the Migration 5 (US, UK, Aus, NZ, Can) and joint rep to the Border 5. He led the negotiations with India in 2020 on the bilateral Mobility and Migration Partnership.
On domestic policy, Glyn had oversight of the policy and programmes to design and implement the EU Settlement Scheme from 2019 and the Points-Based System from 2020. He was Home Office Gold Commander for Windrush in 2018. He worked on the Immigration Acts 2016 and 2016 (the creation of the compliant environment), the current Nationality and Borders Bill, all the Brexit legislation relevant to borders and immigration and the simplification programme. He has been at the heart of all the major reforms to student, work, family migration routes and asylum and resettlement policy since 2010. He helped design the Hong Kong settlement visa in 2020 and the policy to allow B5JSSK nationals to enter through e gates.
Glyn was a regular adviser to successive Home Secretaries and Prime Ministers on migration issues and a member of the Home Office Executive Committee responsible for the corporate leadership of the Department through a time of significant change. As well having an excellent strategic grasp of immigration and borders policy and its delivery, he has worked closely with frontline staff across the system which helped him to articulate operational concerns to Ministers and, conversely, political imperatives to caseworkers.
Before joining the Home Office, Glyn worked in the Department of Trade and Industry and FCO on trade policy and negotiations, employment policy and energy policy.
Glyn was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2019 for services to immigration.
Nigel retired from the Civil Service in November 2021 from his role as the Director responsible for the implementing the new UK imports/exports service ( the Customs Declaration Service – CDS) for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). He is an IT professional and transformation change leader with over 45 years’ experience designing, building and implementing services in the public sector. Key areas of expertise are:
- Major programme leadership
- Customs and International trade
- Digital transformation
- Commercial negotiation
- Transformational change
In the 3 years prior to retirement Nigel was part of the Board level team within HMRC shaping the department’s response to the UK withdrawal from the EU. This was clearly a very uncertain period with conflicting priorities and demands and late breaking changes as the negotiations between the UK and EU ebbed and flowed.
He led the EU exit programme which consisted of 2 major digital deliveries; Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and the Border Systems Programme. This was a large an complex programme costing over £350m and employing around 950 internal and external IT staff on development. Twice during this period, we had to be prepared for the UK to crash out of the EU on Day 1 No Deal terms.
The first version of the CDS service was implemented in August 2018, and has gone through a series of planned upgrades such that it now processes nearly all UK imports and will replace the existing CHIEF service in 2023.
The Border Systems Programme consisted of 27 individual projects delivering solutions across the wider Customs & International trade arena particularly in support of a possible Day 1 No Deal. Despite this uncertainty and critical deadlines, we delivered all of the required new services in time for a possible D1ND exit on 31 March so that the UK would have a functioning border.
Previously, Nigel led some of the largest and most complex change programmes within the public sector including:
- STRIDE – a major infrastucture programme which replaced over 100,000 desktops and 650+ applications across the newly formed HMRC.
- PAYE Open cases – tackling a backlog of 17.8m outstanding customer tax cases and clearing £2bn of outstanding payments and repayments
- Implementation of the new Real Time Information service for PAYE – onboarding 2m UK employers and build the digital service to process over 850m transactions annually.
Within HMRC he was frequently parachuted in to lead highly complex or sensitive projects or to rescue those that had gone badly off track.
Nigel’s career span includes 14 years as a software developer and database designer, writing and supporting core applications and operating systems. His first IT role was a developer (in 1976) writing the new maritime import/export system for the UK. He was later (1987) both a systems analyst and designer for the CHIEF service which became the new vehicle for UK import/export. Nigel went on to lead the software development function within HM Customs &Excise (250+ people) and later was the Head of Profession for Project Delivery within HMRC (500+ people).
Nigel also has a strong background in large commercial negotiations on deals valued at hundreds of £millions. These range from leading the in-house bid team for market testing, infrastructure outsourcing and major contract re-negotiation.
Nigel is a specialist in transformational change in the public sector dating back to first wave of e-services in 2004 and more recently core customer facing services such as Tax Free Childcare.
Nigel is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and additonally holds Chartered IT Professional status. He is also a graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy at Oxford University (2014) and a High Risk Team Leader and Reviewer with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.
He is married with two grown up daughters and currently lives in Essex where he spends his spare time playing or watching as much sport as he can get away with. A passionate cricketer who plays regularly for Essex Seniors.
Alison is a former UK Civil Servant with over 30 years experience in the field of immigration with extensive knowledge of operations, policy and project delivery. She has worked at the highest levels within immigration and also with Government Ministers and has a sound understanding of strategic thinking.
Alison took early retirement after almost 34 years with the UK Home Office, having worked in numerous locations including central London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She has worked closely with security partners and police services across the UK and her work has been acknowledged by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.
Alison is an experienced senior manager who was well respected within the Home Office and among external partners. She has extensive experience of working in partnership with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland and understands the political sensitivities involved.
Alison managed the Accreditation process for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, working closely with both Westminster and the Scottish Government in order to meet the objective of delivering a safe and secure Games. This work gained Alison letters of thanks from the then Prime Minister and the Scottish Government Minister for the Games.
Ian Neill is an expert on Border Systems and has been at the forefront of the development of international passenger data standards. Ian has over 35 years in border management having delivered Border systems for the UK and advised other governments on the development of their systems.
Ian has held a variety of senior roles in the United Kingdom Border Force, including leading Heathrow as well as holding a variety of posts in the criminal and enforcement arena. He was responsible for spearheading the development of the worldwide Airline/Immigration Liaison Officer network.
Ian was responsible for the UK’s Project Semaphore, the first EU state to capture entry and exit passenger data automatically, he established the UK’s targeting centre in 2005. The Joint Border Operations Centre, which evolved into the National Border Targeting Centre. He introduced a registered traveller system through “IRIS gates” into the UK and followed that with the implementation of e-passport gates, that replaced IRIS. He was involved in the early work for a tripartite registered traveller programme “mi sense” linking UAE, UK and Hong Kong.
Ian has worked widely with industry having chaired the International Air Transport Association’s Control Agency Working Group and Passenger Facilitation Working Group. Together with Australia, Canada, the USA, IATA, and the airline industry he delivered the new passenger data message standard PNRGOV as a free to use product for governments and carriers. Ian was the UK’s representative on the Frontex research and development board and has contributed to work on analysis of passenger data and Automated Border Controls. He has worked as an advisor to The International Civil Aviation Organization’s facilitation panel and is a regular contributor to work on travel documents. As part of the World Customs Organization’s Contact Committee he has played role in ensuring clear guidelines on the implementation and use of both Interactive and standard advance passenger information have been agreed between IATA, ICAO, WCO industry and governments.
Ian is a member of the Global Initiative against Transnational and Organized crime and continues to speak and moderate at international events on data and border security.
He continues to provide advice and support to a number of governments. He has focused recent efforts on targeting and intelligence and flexible, mobile responses to border issues, providing training and support to the development of targeting and command and control centres for a range of countries.
Patricia Bell MBE
Patricia has over 35 years’ experience within all the disciplines of UK immigration, and worked with UK law enforcement specializing in criminal intelligence tackling people smuggling and trafficking. She was Deputy Head of RALON (a global Risk and Liaison Overseas Network) from 2006 to 2010 and then Regional Manager RALON Americas from 2010 to 2014. The RALON network identified risk to the UK borders from all sources and provided mitigating strategies and engaged in operational activity. Patricia was awarded an MBE in 2016 for contribution to UK border security.
Since retirement in February 2015 she has developed a consultancy career covering a number of projects, such as: the setting up of a risk assessment unit at the Charity Commission, visa process improvements for Guyana, development and delivery of IOM (International Organisation for Migration) projects (including producing a Maritime Security Manual for the Western Indian Ocean) and the audit and assurance of a text analytic process for the Home Office. Patricia is currently contracted to the IOM in Lesotho with regard to strengthening their immigration intelligence processes.
Shaun has over 41 years’ expertise in identity and border management, within the United Kingdom passport and Immigration services.
He has over ten years’ international experience working in UK diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Sub-continent and Africa. For over four years Shaun was regional manager for UK Immigration Enforcement International, responsible for over thirty staff deployed in eight international locations; covering fourteen countries in the Middle East, Levant and Pakistan.
As Intelligence Manager at the Heathrow Immigration Intelligence Unit he was responsible for developing intelligence and strategies to combat transnational organised immigration crime. He set up the UK’s first Passenger Analysis Unit, at London Heathrow Airport. He worked with industry and other commercial partners to develop the operational and profiling capabilities of the UK’s Semaphore e-Borders programme, which included design and implementation of an electronic alert system to primary control points at Heathrow. He created and trained a debriefing team to gather intelligence from irregular migrants; and built a joint profiling capability with Customs counterparts- an early example of Border Force joint working.
As country manager for Bangladesh he delivered an overseas aid funded project to network real-time passenger movement records between major air/ seaports, and Bangladesh Immigration HQ. His team participated in early proof-of-concept trials of passenger travel data under the UK Semaphore project.
Shaun has been based in the UAE for the past six years, where he has established his own border management consultancy, MIB Managing International Borders DMCC.
Shaun worked closely with Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to successfully organise and moderate the Dubai Global Targeting Forum in 2018. He subsequently delivered training, coaching and continuous assessment of the GDRFA Targeting & Analysis team to develop passenger targeting and analysis capability.
As a trainer, Shaun has developed a wide range of bespoke courses in relation to border and identity management. He has delivered training on behalf of UN and non-governmental organisations in the Middle East & Levant, ASEAN region and Indian Sub-continent.
Recent activities include: conducting a review of border management and border security of five countries in North Africa, and in Jordan; delivery of open source intelligence training to specialist immigration and anti-corruption teams in Nigeria and Ghana; subject matter expert for two immigration-related policy projects in Saudi Arabia.
Janet is a former UK Civil Servant with a wide experience in operational, policy and project delivery, in the UK and in numerous locations worldwide.
Janet retired in May 2015, after 30 years working for both the UK Home Office, and on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, both in London and overseas.
Janet managed UK visa operations in over 20 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, and earlier ran a team of UK airline liaison officers working in twelve locations in South and South East Asia. She has considerable experience of working in partnership with foreign Governments and agencies, British ministers and Members of Parliament and partners in the travel industry.
Janet also managed the IT for UK visa operations for five years and oversaw the successful rollout of biometric enrolment for UK visa applicants in Africa.
UK Immigration Service 1976-2010
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1987-91, 1994-9
Independent consultant 2010-2022
Chris Hurrey is a former Assistant Director in the UK Immigration Service/Border Agency with 34 years’ experience of front-line operations both in the UK and abroad. From the late 1980s he has specialised in the technology which supports border control and migration processing.
He has led innovative projects in watch listing (Warnings Index), visa processing (SECUD and QuickFire), concealed person detection (heartbeat detection), intelligence (DORIS, Mycroft) and knowledge management (Know) and has provided operational input into a number of high-profile Home Office technology projects.
Chris also led the prototyping of biometric-based border crossing systems (IRIS)and other innovative approaches to passenger processing, as well as being a point of contact for advice to technology suppliers and UKBA senior management.
He was an early collaborator and R&D lead in the UKBA’s Semaphore/e-Borders programme and went on to work with overseas agencies on passport and identity verification.
In the past few years he has assisted in the design of trials of e-Gate prototypes in European HORIZON 2020 research projects (FASTPASS, PROTECT and D4FLY) with an emphasis on effectiveness and usability. He has been a contributor to IATA, ICAO, IGC, EU and FRONTEX seminars as well as a speaker at international border security events.
For the last five years he has worked as a consultant in border control operations and technology, with a particular emphasis on advance passenger information, biometrics, passenger self-service and automated border control systems.
IAN FLETCHER is an International expert in Border Security/Management and Law Enforcement, and has over 30 years of experience in Investigation, Intelligence, Detection and Counter Terrorism operations.
Ian played a significant role in Afghanistan working on behalf of the US Embassy as part of Operation Enduring Freedom where he was deployed as a Senior Border Police Advisor working first alongside a special detachment of US Rangers in Jalalabad, and later serving as the Senior Advisor to the President of Kabul International Airport. He has received a number of awards for his service to the UK Government which included a Value for Money Award from the Civil Service Commission in recognition of the cost benefits of his innovative work on overseas projects. Ian began work as a Customs Officer for HM Customs and Excise in 1987 and since leaving UK Border Force in 2010, Ian has worked as an Independent Consultant in a variety of high profile roles for both the public and private sector.
He is renowned for possessing very strong stakeholder engagement skills, which includes work with senior government officials at ministerial level, where he has received praise such as for his duties undertaken in the London Olympics 2012 working as a Group Commander managing over 365 newly employed staff. Ian is also a trained Project Management professional and CIPD qualified training specialist, leading global operational personnel and border security training programmes, equipped with a commanding track record of achieving impressive increases in challenging and complex hostile environments, such as countries in West Africa, The Middle East, The Caribbean and more recently in 2019 where he served as a Senior Counter Terrorism Advisor In Lebanon on behalf of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Ian is currently working on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary as an Investigative Consultant in CID Major Crime and also sits on the boards of various organisations as a Non-Executive Director in the role of Government Specialist/Advisor.
Frank has a successful track record of delivering technology based solutions in the customs and international trade sector.
Previously, Frank led business development for Fujitsu’s International Trade and Customs Practice. As technology advisor to the Alternative Arrangements Commission he reported on the role of technology in the management of NI trade. He went on to lead a consortium to win and implement the Trade Support Service which manages NI trade with GB and other regions.
Today’s international borders and global supply chains are experiencing a period of unprecedented change due to new geo-political, financial and pandemic pressures. The future supply chain and border operating models will exploit new and emerging technologies and be re-engineered with a focus on greater resilience.
Frank’s combination of industry knowledge and technical expertise enables him to provide high value strategic consultancy services across customs and international supply chains.
38 years UK Customs and Border Control experience at operational and senior manager level. 20 years international experience as a trainer and consultant for HM Customs & Excise, HMRC and UK Border Agency working in South America, South East Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. For last 5 years of career, was national manager responsible for the development and deployment of screening technologies including biometrics, radiation portals, millimetre-wave cameras, and human/baggage x-ray scanners, and the integration of these into existing business processes and procedures.
Since leaving UKBA in 2010, have worked as an independent Customs and Border Management reform consultant and trainer, as an international aviation security consultant, and European Commission H2020 Framework (Security) proposal evaluator and rapporteur.
Bernard has thirty five years experience with UK Immigration encompassing all aspects of border control.
Hi is an accomplished presenter and trainer, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.
His command of languages and profound knowledge of the region meant he was appointed the UK’s first Immigration Liaison Manager to Latin America. His primary task on arrival was to provide local input into the consideration of a visa regime for Brazil. He analysed the migratory and economic trends of the country and interacted with senior Brazilian officials. His recommendation that a regime was not necessary was accepted by UK Directors and Ministers.
He conducted training courses for border staff in eleven countries, which were widely acknowledged as the best in the region. This afforded him prestige with national Immigration directors, with whom he formed a close working relationship. A particular case was Migración Colombia, where he guided and advised them through the period of inception. Information from this organisation enabled him to identify 150 Colombian criminals operating in the UK with false identities and nationalities. It subsequently resulted in Bernie being awarded a commendation from the Metropolitan Police.