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The High Sheriff of West Sussex for 2016-17 is Mr Mark Spofforth OBE.
Mark Spofforth graduated from Durham University and trained in the City as a chartered accountant. This was perhaps not a surprising choice of career since both grandfathers, his father, two uncles, his brother and a cousin were or are all chartered accountants too! He joined the family practice in Sussex where he has worked for over 30 years, including two periods as Managing Partner. He now chairs the firm.
He served as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2012 having served on Council for 20 years, chairing various committees, and served on the UK Takeover Panel. Mr Spofforth spent six years making weekly broadcasts on local BBC Radio on financial matters, wrote a monthly column for Accountancy Age on practice management and has lectured internationally on accountancy topics, including at the 2010 World Congress of Accountants. He is currently a member of the committee that sets the accounting standards for charities, one of his specialisms.
His international experience includes a six year period on the International Accounting Education Standards Board, a standard-setting body of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and visits to regulators and other professional bodies on every continent. He is now an Observer to the IFAC Board. He was awarded the OBE in 2014 for services to the accountancy profession.
Away from professional life Mr Spofforth was married to Veronica in 2015 and has a son, a daughter, a stepson and stepdaughter. He is a former rugby player, coach and administrator and enjoys skiing and scuba diving. His height makes him stand out in a crowd, although he is not the tallest in his family, having an uncle who is 7’ 2”!
The High Sheriff’s daughter, Gemma, recently retired as an elite swimmer, having competed in the Beijing and London Olympics; in August 2009 she became World Champion and continues to hold the World Record for the 100m backstroke event. He was recently asked to speak to the England Rugby team and their families and friends about his experiences at a major sporting event as a parent, in preparation for the World Cup.
His son, Peter works for a corporate finance company in the City, in the technology sector, and was himself a County rugby player.
Mr Spofforth was Master of another City Livery Company, the Horners, in 2009. He is a Governor of Sion School in Worthing and is a Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust.
Mark Spofforth OBE
High Sheriff of West Sussex