Fred with family
Fred at a ROF party
Fred Banning, former Head of Comms at Pinsent Masons and a well respected and hugely popular figure in the City legal market, has passed away following a period of illness.
Banning was just 40 years old, and leaves behind a wife and two young boys.
In 2022 he founded Fifth Day - a pro bono scheme promoting volunteering opportunities for non-lawyers at firms. "There’s a recognition that pro bono work is good for your skills, your network and your soul," said Banning at the time. "However, that culture of pro bono does not permeate the sector."
Banning was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2020. During the pandemic, he spearheaded a campaign requesting that the government grant early access to Covid vaccines for terminally ill patients. His lobbying generated widespread media coverage and resulted in motions being raised in Scottish and UK parliaments.
Alastair Morrison, friend and Board member at Pinsent Masons said: “The legal industry has lost an exceptional communicator, strategist and innovator, and we have lost a dear friend. Throughout his illness he was always delighted to offer his insights, advice and counsel and was always on top of change."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred’s wife, Lesley, his two young sons Ollie and Charlie, and his family at this difficult time,” said Morrison.
Banning worked at Hogan Lovells before joining McGrigors in 2010. The Scottish firm merged with Pinsent Masons in 2012, and Banning rose to head the comms team at Pinsent Masons.
From a journo perspective, he was always upfront and a pleasure to deal with. He also gave ROF one of the best comms comments, for an article on his vaccine campaign, in which he recalled a story of yesteryear: "I’m in the perhaps unusual position of being delighted that RollOnFriday have seen fit to take up the cause and mention my name - and I didn’t even need to spill ketchup on anybody’s trousers”.