Structure & Governance

Structure & Governance

The Master and Wardens, together with the Court Assistants constitute the governing body of the Company and manage its affairs by holding Court at such times as summonsed by the Master and Wardens.

The Court and Committees

In accordance with the Charter of Charles I, the Brewers’ Company is Governed by a Court (board) made up of the Master, the Upper, Middle and Renter Wardens and up to 28 Assistants. Court Assistants are appointed from the Livery by the Master and Wardens.

The Master is elected and installed annually at the Court meeting which takes place in July. Also elected and installed at this meeting are the Upper, Middle and Renter Wardens. Under normal circumstances, an individual elected as Renter Warden will progress through the ranks of Middle and Upper Warden, before becoming Master after three years.

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Mr Jonathan Neame DL, Shepherd Neame

The Master 2022-2023
Mr Jonathan Neame DL, Shepherd Neame

Jonathan Neame graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1985 where he read Classics. He qualified as a Barrister-at-Law in 1987. He then worked as a strategy consultant with The COBA Group before joining his family business Shepherd Neame Ltd in 1991. He is fifth generation of the family to join the business. He has held a variety of roles in that time, before becoming Managing Director in 1999, then Chief Executive in 2003.

He is a Trustee of the Leeds Castle Foundation and a Director of the Brewers of Europe. Previously he has been Chairman of Visit Kent, Chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association and a Non-Executive director of St Austell Brewery. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, a Kent Ambassador and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Kent.

Outside work, his interests include cricket, skiing, country pursuits and hiking.

He is married to Lucie and they have one daughter Lettie, who is at Edinburgh University studying Fine Art and History of Art.

Upper Warden 2022-2023
Mr James Staughton OBE DL, St Austell Brewery

Middle Warden 2022-2023
Prof Katherine Smart, Diageo GB

Renter Warden 2022-2023
Mr Fergus McMullen DL, McMullen & Sons

Court 2022-2023

Court Assistants include representatives from the Company's member breweries, as well as the Chairs of the Company's permanent committees and representatives from the governing bodies of its schools.

Court Strategy & Risk Oversight Committee Investment CommitteeProperty CommitteeLivery CommitteeDame Alice Owen Foundation Advisory CommitteeBrewers’ Research & Education Fund Advisory CommitteeDame Alice Owen SchoolAldenham FoundationInternal CommitteesExternal CommitteesSchool Governing BodiesMasterUpper WardenMiddle WardenRenter Warden
Court Strategy & Risk Oversight Committee Investment Committee Property Committee Livery Committee Dame Alice Owen Foundation Advisory Committee Brewers’ Research & EducationFund Advisory Committee Dame Alice Owen School Alderman Foundation Internal Committees External Committees School Governing Bodies Master Upper Warden Middle Warden Renter Warden


There are four full time members of staff at Brewers’ Hall and a part-time Archivist. The Clerk is the Chief Executive and reports to the Master and Wardens and the Court. He is supported by the Deputy Clerk whose main responsibility is overseeing the finances of the Company and its foundations and trusts. The Livery Manager is responsible for administrative support for the Company and its charities, as well as supporting the membership. The Beadle is responsible for the management of the Hall and the running of all functions within the Hall.