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Alumni Cameron and David Wilkinson

Alumni father and son help get masks to the NHS

The Masks for NHS Heroes fundraising campaign has raised more than £2 million to provide protective equipment for NHS staff around the UK. However distributing more than a million masks along with gowns and other equipment is a logistical challenge, so alumni father and son David and Cameron Wilkinson offered up some help.

Initially David (Law, 1989), who is the Senior Partner at Fieldfisher LLP, was approached by a client who is also behind the campaign. With the fundraising going even better than all expectations, they needed legal expertise to help with purchasing from China and transportation to the UK.

David said: “The plan was to buy from a factory in China and then transport the masks to the UK before distributing directly to hospitals in need. Fortunately we have three offices in China and I was able to contact my Managing Partner in China who immediately jumped at the opportunity to help. We then started working on the contractual negotiations with the factory and have now helped on all of their subsequent purchases and also internal governance issues for the fund raising.”

At the same time David was discussing the difficulties of getting the goods through Chinese customs and into the UK. They needed help with both road and air transport to get the masks from the factory to their final destination.

David said: “I spoke to my son Cameron (Psychology and International Relations, 2017) as he works for Zencargo, a freight forwarding company. They also jumped at the opportunity to help and arranged all of the logistics to get the masks from the factory gate to the UK where they were then handed over to DHL for delivery to hospitals. They even sorted out a special authorisation from HM Revenue & Customs to ensure that the masks could come into the UK duty free. 

“It was great to work with my son. His company has been great and put a huge amount of effort into piecing things together. 

"I now look forward to the next opportunity to do some business with my son! Meanwhile the fund raising goes on and my client is now looking to help hospitals etc with direct procurements of PPE that they need.”

Date: 1 May 2020

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