Non Executive Director Roles

Stephen Cirell LLB

Telephone: 07774 451587

Personal Profile

A broadly experienced local government expert, now specialising in sustainable energy. With almost four decades of experience within local government, has a very high national profile and a record of innovation, leadership and delivery. A qualified solicitor, with a speciality in powers and commercial public law. Specialities include: large scale commercial contracting, leadership, project management, programme co-ordination, strategy and policy creation. Deep knowledge of the public sector and local government and experience of engaging with the private sector. Stephen has a record of innovation in developing new solutions for local authorities and boosting their confidence to act boldly and innovatively to assist them in achieving their goals. A confident and diplomatic leader, with a history of building effective teams, energising them and with the ability to rally different parties behind a common goal. An adept communicator, with strong emotional intelligence and excellent public speaking skills. Interested in non-executive directorships, with a particular interest in clean energy and the public sector.

Career History

Yorkshire Energy Services CIC
Non-Executive Director & Company Secretary
2014 - Present

Community interest company providing energy efficiency works to the public sector. Involved in all aspects of company operation, including changes to governance set up, taxation issues and business development.

  • Consolidated company's governance structures. Reviewed memorandum and articles of association and helped regularise and update its position
  • Member of main group Board and all committees in the structure
  • Led through periods of challenge due to turbulent government policy.
Association of Public Service Excellence (ASPE)
2010 - Present

Lead consultant on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Roles include: strategy, development of business cases, advice on projects, chief officer and member liaison, training and events, public speaking engagements, research and collaboration.

  • Ensured substantial growth of energy work and positioned at the forefront of developments in the green agenda. ASPE has now advised over 100 local authorities and been involved in all of the major renewable energy technology areas. Group is influential with Government and policy makers and has been instrumental in thought leadership, for example encouraging local authorities to establish Energy Services Companies, build out large solar and wind farms and replace traditional fleet cars with electric vehicles.
  • Advanced the understanding of local authorities generally on the benefits of renewable energy both financial and non-financial.
Stephen Cirell Consultancy Ltd
2010 - Present

Established own consultancy business upon leaving Eversheds in 2010 and works mainly for local authority and public sector clients on climate change, low carbon strategies and renewable energy projects.

  • Adviser to numerous local authorities on the green agenda, regular speaker at events and writer on developments in the sector
  • Trusted adviser who is given the same status as an in house Director, though working externally

Selected Assignments


    • Conceived and implemented a leading edge collaboration of over 20 local authorities all seeking to build solar farms on their land. This included all the preparatory paperwork, hosting the meetings and overseeing the signing up of the group to share costs.
    • Aim of the project is to deliver ten times the amount of civic solar farms in existence in the UK at present.
    • Helped the authorities continue to drive forward their projects with constantly changing government policy and financial incentives.

    • Developed the concept and planned the delivery of the very first civic solar farm in the UK.
  • WREXHAM CBC – 2012

    • Highly innovative project to put solar PV on 3,000 council houses and the largest project at that time.
    • Lower electricity costs to tenants and realise significant profit for the council in excess of £20m.

    • All preparatory work on a 9MW civic wind farm project, which will be one of largest civically owned wind farms. Responsible for business cases, regulatory issues and advising the Council.

    • Development of an innovative internal biomass supply chain strategy, linked to work to conversion to biomass of the Council's tower blocks, under the Energy Company Obligation.
    • This project helped identify wood supplies and how to put in place a process centre for the council to produce its own biomass fuel.

    • Advice on the establishment of fully licensed Energy Services Companies in order to make a bold intervention in the local electricity and gas supply markets
    • Advice on all aspects of preparatory work (communications, legal powers, business cases, procurement, officer buy in and so on

    • Commissioned by the Council to advise on how five large, high capital value and disparate energy projects could all be brought under a strategic ESCO and achieve economies of scale and accelerate delivery
    • Involved delivering some hard messages about how badly the Council was going about this and had procrastinated in the past
Cornwall Council
Corporate Director (Green Cornwall Programme)
2009 – 2010

Recruited as a second tier officer and member of the Council's Senior Management Team. Devised and planned entire programme, which has been regarded as a market leader nationally and led to the first civic solar farm in the UK. Co-ordinated a range of pre-existing and new initiatives from across departments into a single programme.

  • Development of award-winning Green Cornwall programme. Continues to be one of the most innovative green programmes in the civic sector in the UK.
Equity Partner
1993 - 2010

Recruited from local government as an expert on procurement and contacting and created and led the local government team. As Eversheds merged into a national firm, gravitated to the national head of local government services.

  • Took the local firm from negligible local government work from local authorities to national head and a turnover approaching £30m per annum and status as an undisputed leader in its field in Legal 500 and the Chambers Directories.
Leeds City Council
Assistant Chief Legal Officer
1988 - 1993

Responsible for 60 members of staff undertaking civil and criminal litigation, contracts and insurance work.

Stockport MBC, Dudley MBC
Articled Clerk, Assistant, Senior Solicitor & Principal Solicitor respectively
1982 - 1988


University College of Wales, Aberystwyth - Degree in Law LLB (2:1)
Qualified as a solicitor 1984


Author of 17 books on various elements of local government law, including books on solar PV and biomass heating. Has also had over 500 articles published in the local government press and now writes for Solar Media. An active blogger, who is well networked and up-to-date with latest industry developments.