09 May 2019

Mayflower 400 and Destination Plymouth are pleased to announce Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) as a lead national partner for the Mayflower 400 anniversary, with the transatlantic law firm supporting a national programme of events and activities.

As part of its commitment to the national commemorations, WBD is also partnering on the Mayflower 400 Speaker Series taking place across the UK in the lead up to the start of the anniversary year in November 2020. The first event in the Mayflower 400 Speaker Series was held in Plymouth and headlined by Debra Searle, MVO, MBE, who shot to fame after rowing the Atlantic solo and told the story of her amazing and gruelling three month journey across the ocean.

Jonathan Blair, WBD's Co-Chair and UK Managing Partner, commented:

"We're delighted to support the Mayflower 400 anniversary and the Speaker Series, celebrating the key themes behind the historic voyage of this iconic ship; freedom, humanity, imagination and the future. These themes are an integral part of our collective heritage and remain highly relevant today and we look forward to hearing a fascinating range of speakers bring them to life in a modern context.

"400 years ago, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth where we have one of our long established eight UK offices and landed in Boston where we have one of our newest US offices. It's fantastic to celebrate the close ties and ongoing relationship between the US and the UK with all of the benefits this brings."

Blair continued:

"We recently supported trade missions to Atlanta and Boston for UK businesses and they have been tremendously positive experiences. We also supported Team Tyne Innovation in the successful completion of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in January, the world's toughest rowing race and a clear example of the enduring Mayflower spirit.”

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive, Mayflower 400 commented:

“Mayflower 400 is a multi-location programme of heritage and modern culture that explores arguably the most influential journey in western history. The Mayflower 400 Speaker Series will explore the different themes of this venture and its modern relevance, and we are very excited to have a transatlantic organisation, Womble Bond Dickinson, supporting this and the wider Mayflower 400 programme.”

WBD and The City of London also supported the inaugural Mayflower 400 Business Networking Event, that took place at Guildhall at the end of 2018. The event brought together a host of key business leaders to discuss the commercial impact of the Mayflower's anniversary and the business opportunities that it presents for London, the UK and beyond. Representatives from the US and Dutch Embassies to the UK, business leaders from major transatlantic corporations, Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords were all brought together to deepen the engagement with the City of London’s leaders and other key city organisations.

The Mayflower 400 commemoration programme in 2020 will comprise over 400 events that will span four nations – Britain, US, Netherlands and Wampanoag – and is anticipated to yield a significant £440m impact on the business turnover across the UK Mayflower Compact destinations.

The next event in the Mayflower 400 Speaker Series will be held in Southampton, headlined by Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute of Government, followed by an event in London with Ben Fogle, adventurer and broadcaster. Each speaker will bring to life aspects of the Mayflower 400 themes in their own unique way.