About us

An international network of security experts

We are a group of senior international career professionals from the fields of defence, intelligence, cyber, legal, security, technology, development and diplomacy. Our leadership team and Associate network include senior British, American, South Asian and North European partners and consultants. Our ethos, ethics and outlook has been forged in some of the world's most renowned and admired public-service departments, agencies and organisations.

We are incredibly proud of our Association: over 130 hand-picked and carefully selected people, all of whom are exceptional at what they do. They all have unbreakable integrity in their DNA, and are lots of fun to be around.

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Our Team

Managing Director
Phil Jones CB CBE DL

Phil Jones served for 36 years in the British Army, departing the service as a Lieutenant General. With over 15 international deployments, including three secondments to the UN and two to NATO in leadership roles, he gained operational experience in most of the major military campaigns of the past 30 years. Senior positions included Brigade Commander in Northern Ireland, Military Advisor to the UN in Afghanistan, Military Attaché in Washington D.C., Director of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme, the first Chief of Staff to the new UK Joint Forces Command within the Ministry of Defence, and Chief of Staff for NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Command for Transformation.

Phil has extensive experience in international affairs and diplomacy; strategy development and implementation; strategic leadership of change and transformation; planning, leading and managing campaigns; international governance, stabilisation and peacebuilding.

Director (Founder) Information and Intelligence
Andrew Brear

Serving in operational, liaison and leadership roles, Andy has over 20 years of experience as a British diplomat specialising in intelligence and security. He was deployed to Pakistan and Afghanistan several times between 1999 and 2011 and held diplomatic posts in Northern and Southern Europe, Latin America, and South Asia. In the late 1990s, Andy was seconded to the Ministry of Defence in a counter-terrorism operational role and later to GCHQ as an operational adviser. He also served as a Deployable Civilian Expert of the British Government’s Stabilisation Unit.

An expert in cross-cultural communication, intelligence capability building, and the application of security technologies, Andy has delivered security advisory services to governments in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa and the Gulf.

Director Technology and Innovation
Seamus Tucker CMG OBE

Seamus spent thirty years working for the British Government. He served overseas with the Foreign Office in Eastern Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia and the United States. He specialised in national security issues, counterterrorism, organised crime and state threats. In the UK he spent time in the Home Office where he led the CT Science & Technology unit and the CBRNE unit, providing security support for the 2012 Olympics. In the latter part of his Civil Service career his focus was on delivery of cyber security and digital transformation programmes.

Seamus is a graduate of the Civil Service High Performance Development Scheme (HPDS) and of the UK Defence High Command Staff Course (HCSC). He received a CMG for services to National Security in 2019.

Director Networks
Nick Watson

Nick is a former senior British diplomat and Arabic-speaker who served in a range of Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan and Egypt. More recently, Nick spent nine years as a partner at Hakluyt, a network-based advisory business, including three years in Tokyo working with leading Japanese companies and three years running the firm’s Middle East business.

Nick’s career in both the public and private sectors has been based around the development, structuring and leveraging of professional networks as a basis for providing high quality insight, advice and judgement to senior decision-makers. He has recently founded a company that takes a network-based approach to providing impartial, expert advice on technology innovation and its protection. Other areas of interest include coaching and mentoring, education and cross-cultural communication. He acts as board adviser to Adeptis Group, a recruitment business specialising in cyber security, and also sits on the Council of the University of Sussex, its governing body and on the Advisory Council of UC Berkeley’s AMENA Center for Entrepreneurship and Development.

Director Operations and Plans
Richard Stephens MBE

Richard Stephens is a senior leader of broad national and international experience who has worked extensively across the fields of security, risk and intelligence in the public and private sectors.

Richard has commanded teams from 12 to 1000 people on operations in hostile environments. He has led cross-departmental think tanks for the UK Government, has authored policy for several overseas administrations, he has conducted complex investigations for the Lloyd’s insurance market and helped to establish a leadership development programme in Iraq for oil executives. He has directed war crimes investigations in Syria and has established a law firm in the City of London that specialised in high-risk jurisdictions. Latterly he was managing director of a global risk advisory firm.

Richard was awarded MBE for his leadership on counter-terrorism operations. He has a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from King’s College, London and a Master of Science (Distinction) in Leadership and Management, his research area being Middle Eastern leadership and specifically ‘An Investigation Of The Kurdish Leader - Leadership Insights In Northern Iraq’. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and is a Chartered Manager.

Director High Trust Search
Tim Cook

Based in London, but operating internationally, Tim Cook has 20 years of executive search and assessment experience, covering both Egon Zehnder and Russell Reynolds where Tim co-led the Global Cyber and CIO Practices before setting up Kafue Consultants.

Tim is focused on helping clients understand what good looks like in digital as well as cyber security leadership. He has previous experience in both large and small-scale technology companies, from time spent at Fujitsu Services and Cherwell Scientific, where he was the CEO. Earlier in his career, Tim served in the UK MOD. Tim’s work has covered Cyber as well as CIO, CTO and other senior digital roles in analytics. He has worked across most sectors and geographies on both search and assessment projects. Tim invented a maturity model for cyber security leadership called CIRO (Cyber and Information Risk Officers) to help organisations and individuals understand what good looks like in cyber leadership, this has been widely used internationally in search and assessment assignments.

Tim has a degree in English Literature, a postgrad diploma from the LSE, an MBA from London Business School, and an MSc from UCL.

Chief of Staff
Tim Brear

After graduating Tim served an (extended) short service Commission in the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment, spending time in Gibraltar, Northern Irelands, Cyprus, Canada and Germany. After the military, Tim spent a brief period in Executive Search and Recruitment, followed by 25 years in Financial Services, playing a major role in founding and building three businesses in the sector.

In the past three years, Tim has been to Sierra Leone, Mozambique and the Bahamas as a liaison officer with RE:ACT Disaster Response, building relationships with governments, communities and other disaster response organisations in the regions. He was leading the 2020 African rugby coaching project for www.bpafrica.org in the spring of 2020 when Covid 19 called for a hasty withdrawal!

Head of Legal
Dominic Prentis

A French-English bilingual lawyer for nearly 20 years, Dominic has wide-ranging transactional and operational experience in the CIS, Africa and Europe. He advises companies and their owners on cross-border transactions and operations, working closely with local counterparts to ensure that commercial objectives are achieved in compliant with applicable laws. He advises listed companies and London Stock Exchange advisers on corporate governance and regulatory issues.

Head of Finance
Gerry Defries FCA CF

Gerry is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and a Fellow of the British Institute of Management, with Corporate Finance qualifications and deep experience in that field.

As well as running his own thriving Chartered Accountancy firm successfully for 45 years, he has been part time FD on several boards and floated one of the turnarounds on AIM.

His input at Othrys combines technical skills in commercial analysis, financial controls, governance and general management with a creative and independent mentality able to visualise change strategies that inspire trust and buy-in from stakeholders at every level. Gerry is acting as a part-time, interim advisor pending an appointment to the Board.

Our Associates

The Othrys network includes experts on defence, security, diplomacy, intelligence, strategy, risk analysis, management consulting, training and the military.

We can call on a wide range of languages including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Kurdish, Mongolian, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish and Hebrew speakers. Associates in the network are former ambassadors, intelligence and security officers, military attachés, risk analysts, senior police officers, HM inspectors of constabulary, special forces personnel, and subject-matter experts on investigations, strategic communications and information, cyber security, crisis media communications, counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, and various other security-related fields.

What can we help you with?

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