Catherine Palmer

Catherine is a board director with a strong legal background and a life-long commitment to Franco-British relations in education, law and business. 

Catherine’s career began teaching French in inner London state schools. After a couple of years, intrigued by an advertisement in the Guardian in French for a lexicographer, she applied.  This led to 10 years editing dictionaries for publishers including Oxford University Press/Hachette, Larousse, Collier Macmillan and  Macmillan.  Realising that the semantic skills she had practised had much in common with law, she then embarked on an BA in Jurisprudence at Oxford, gaining her degree in two years.  She trained with Slaughter and May; then joined Browne Jacobson (acting for French clients investing in London, and for fashion clients which included Joseph) and Fladgate Fielder where she created the French desk. She then moved to her first in-house Head of Legal role with a French property company and was delighted when approached two years later to join Joseph.  During her 14 years as General Counsel of the fashion house, Catherine won the respect of its Japanese holding group, which led to also working for companies within the wider group: Director General of Joseph Tricot (retail stores in France), Co-gerant of Joseph Production and Director, for London, of luxury accessories brand Moreau Paris. She continues to work with leaders in dance shoes, Freed of London, another company in the group.

Catherine co-chairs the Chamber’s Retail Forum and sits on the Advisory Council. More widely, in the Franco-British community, Catherine is a director and former VP of the Franco-British Lawyers' Society, a co-founder of the Champagne Louis Roederer prize awarded to organisations which have demonstrated exceptional support to French women lawyers in London, and the founder of the Palmer Prize for Translation at Queen’s College, Oxford. 

Catherine went to the Lycée in South Kensington, followed by hypokhâgne and khâgne at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, the Sorbonne and Oxford. She was awarded the Ordre National du Mérite in 2017.

Living in Central London with her partner, the photographer Ander McIntyre, Catherine can be heard at St Pancras Station as the French voice of Eurostar.