Meet The Team

Bill Laurence

  • A crisis management, kidnap for ransom and extortion response specialist.
  • Bill has personally responded to over 100 incidents of kidnap for ransom, extortion or piracy and acted as the case manager for over 500 more across continents and sectors.
  • Bill’s extensive, hands on experience informs advice on crisis management planning and the delivery of realistic training for all levels and types of organisation including family offices.
  • Bill was the Director Crisis Management at S-RM and before that was Head of Crisis Response for NYA International and a Response Consultant for Control Risks.
  • His earlier career was with the British Army’s Parachute Regiment where he served in Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia, completed Spanish Staff College and was the British liaison officer to the French Infantry and airborne forces.
  • Speaks fluent French, Spanish and German as well as English

Ian French

  • A risk and security professional with a track record gained as Global Head of Risk & Security for two multi-billion-dollar, extractives multi-nationals and as the leader of world class risk consultancy teams.
  • Founded Blindside to improve client’s resilience to shocks and crises and to help make it part of normal business management.
  • 20 years international commercial experience in senior positions with leading risk mitigation companies, and internally within Rio Tinto Diamonds as the Global Head of Risk and Security.
  • Diamond and Gem mining expertise where relations with employees, communities and governments are often key to success.
  • Service as a British Army Parachute Regiment officer, with operational tours including Bosnia, the evacuation of an embassy staff, and the resolution of a hostage situation in Asia.
  • An MBA from the University of Warwick and currently studying for a Masters in Cyber Security from the University of Oxford.

Mark Harris

  • Crisis and Issues Management, Crisis Communications, and Strategic Corporate Security expert.
  • 24 years global experience while employed in senior positions by leading consultancies with Control Risks and Crisis and Issues management with Burson-Marstellar.
  • Successful delivery of solutions to clients’ issues and requirements in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
  • Client work includes advice on over 150 incidents of kidnapping, extortion and hostage taking around the world and 19 cases of vessel hijack, mostly by Somali pirates.
  • Service as a British Army officer, 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars/Light Dragoons, with operational tours, two United Nations tours, and appointments to multi-national teams.
  • Fluent French, Spanish, and working level German.
  • Manchester Business School and London School of Public Relations.

Blindside consultants have worked all over the world on risk, security, crisis and issues management tasks

Our  Associates

Mark Knight is based in Geneva, Switzerland, consulting for the United Nations, international NGOs, and intergovernmental organisations on Security and Human Rights in complex and insecure environments.

He was elected to represent Private Security Providers on the Board of the International Code of Conduct Association (ICOCA), a human rights oversight mechanism for private security operating in contexts requiring carriage of lethal weapons.

Before working with Blindside, he delivered emergency humanitarian programmes in Africa, Asia and the Balkans.  He also gained extensive experience engaging non-state armed actors in peace processes, mediating, designing and delivering the security provisions in peace agreements.

He has worked with Blindside conducting Security and Human rights risks assessments and due-diligence processes for our mining clients.


Richard is an expert in Risk Analysis, Business Continuity and Business Resilience, he has 15 years-experience working with FTSE100 and sector leading companies across mining, finance, pharma, law and public sector organisations.  

Successful deployment of risk-based programmes across Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.  Experience in live response to over 100 incidents with a potential loss of >1Bn USD.  Particularly experienced in the design, roll-out and implementation of corporate resilience programmes for multi-site and multi-national organisations. 

Planned the response to the 2014-2016 West African Ebola outbreak for a multi-site international mining company – won industry recognition for its effectiveness.

Expert in pandemic, natural disaster, supply chain and business disruption planning and response and an experienced and sought-after conference speaker across all areas of business resilience.

Tim Grime is an experienced security architect based in Western Australia where he has designed and commissioned the technical controls for a multinational’s new build HQ office and provided technical security designs and support for several family offices.

Tim has an enthusiasm for analytic technology, biometrics and smart integration and has worked on technical security systems and data collection from operational technology systems for Diamond and Gem mines in Africa, North America, Australia and India.

Tim’s particular strength is understanding the core client issues and using up to date robust technology solutions to solve them while explaining it in a simple, readily understood way.

Tim has worked with Ian as part of Rio Tinto Diamonds’ global risk and security team and with Blindside on diamond and gem mines in Southern Africa.

When not thinking technology, Tim is a keen surfer and ocean photographer.

Jorrie Jordaan’s 30-year career in security spans a variety of security domains with time spent in the military, banking industry and policing before becoming a security professional in the late 1980s. 

He has since worked in various security fields across the world and settled in Canada in 2006 where his last position before APGI was with De Beers Canada Inc. as Director, Protective Services.

He founded APGI in Toronto in 2015 to support organizations in protection and loss prevention with an all-inclusive strategy that creates a higher level of effectiveness to deliver increased business value.  

Blindside and APGI work together on projects for clients in the Diamonds, Gems and Precious Metals sectors with a cross-functional approach we call Profit Protection.


Our Values To Value

We believe values create value.  Blindside’s values inform our conduct, decisions, advice and work.  

We believe in:

  • People – putting people’s interests first helps us craft the right solutions for clients. It also helps us attract exceptional people to our team.
  • Teamwork – we work together with you as part of your team, sharing information, ideas, and expertise to achieve your objective.
  • Integrity – without it our advice could be questioned, we require it in our team and as a result give straight-forward independent advice.
  • Adding Value – we are only successful if we add value to you when you most need it, in difficult times and over the long term

This is our Journey

JULY 2003

Ian was working on contract in Houston to implement a crisis and security management system for a large oil & gas drilling company.
Hurricane Claudette hit the Texas coast. Newsreaders said that the city of Galveston was ‘Blindsided’ by the hurricane. Ian thought Blindside would be a good name for a crisis management firm.

September 2003

Blindside Limited registered in England and Wales.


Blindside conducted a war risk assessment in Nepal on a hydro-electric construction project for an insurer. Report and recommendations enabled the project to continue during the Maoist armed rebellion and prevented force majeure being declared.


Blindside was asked to establish a Crisis Management and Security consulting practice for Kroll, Ian recruited to run it.


Blindside ran a training programme for a National Intelligence Agency and the Presidential Protection Team in a SADC country. Thirty instructors delivered 28 different courses over nine months.


Blindside conducted an independent review of risk and security for the chief executive of the world’s largest diamond producer.  Our report led to changes across the De Beers family of companies. 


Blindside conducted crisis management and resilience planning for Rio Tinto Diamonds Sales and Marketing office in Antwerp and helped design security into the Bunder project diamond processing plant in India.
Ian then recruited to be the global head of risk and security for Rio Tinto Diamonds.

2014 Onwards

Blindside advises several Diamond, Emerald and Ruby miners in Southern Africa and South America on securing their operations, their social license to operate and preparing for and responding to crises. Blindside’s proprietary assessment method has been used on more than 20 diamond and gem operations worldwide providing a unique benchmark.


Mark Harris joins Blindside with extensive Crisis Management experience gained over two decades running insurer retained Kidnap and Extortion Response teams and delivering crisis and issues management advice and training worldwide.


Blindside conducts Security and Human Rights risk assessments and training in Francophone Africa in support of mining clients.  Trained Gendarmes supporting clients on their responsibilities and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.