Duchy of Lancaster welcomes new High Sheriffs into office

The Duchy of Lancaster has welcomed three new High Sheriffs for Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

Dr James Barry Johnson (High Sheriff of Lancashire), Abila Pointing MBE, DL (High Sheriff of Merseyside) and Paul Anthony Lee, DL (High Sheriff of Greater Manchester) have been officially installed into office and will carry out their duties with immediate effect.

Tim Crow, Solicitor for the Affairs of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “We are proud to welcome such esteemed professionals to the Duchy.

“Their experience and empathy for the communities in which they live and work will be vital as they serve as High Sheriff for the coming year. Dr Johnson, Mrs Pointing and Mr Lee can look forward to an exciting 12 months, during which time they will play a key role in representing the Duchy of Lancaster through various charitable and ceremonial channels.

“We are sure that they will uphold the strong tradition of the role of High Sheriff, acting with compassion, generosity and honour.”

Dr Johnson has enjoyed a distinguished career as a veterinary surgeon. He founded one of the largest veterinary practices in the North West and is a former director of the Veterinary Benevolent Fund and president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr Johnson lives in Bilsborrow near Preston with his wife Carolyn and has six sons and seven grandchildren.

Abila Pointing MBE is a self-employed training consultant with an academic background in Psychology, Sociology and Management Studies.

She has worked with Liverpool Careers Service and Nacro (the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders), delivering training on race and diversity issues to staff in the public, voluntary, health and criminal justice sectors.

Mrs Pointing is a Trustee of the Merseyside Community Foundation, an Independent Adviser on race and diversity issues to the Governor at HMP Manchester and in 2010 was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside. She lives in Liverpool with her husband Bob.

Paul Anthony Lee was the Senior Partner of leading law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP, which he joined in 1970.

Mr Lee is the Chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board and has interests in the arts, business and education. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Royal Exchange Theatre and has served on the boards of Opera North, the Northern Ballet Theatre and the Royal Northern College of Music. He is a Board member of the CBI and of Barlows plc, a Chester based property company, and also sits on the Board of the North West Business Leadership Team.

Mr Lee has three children and lives in Didsbury with wife Elizabeth.

A High Sheriff is appointed by the Queen in Right of Her Duchy of Lancaster each year in Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, as the official Keeper of the Queen’s Peace. Dating back to Saxon times, the prestigious role is now mainly ceremonial and charitable.