Irvine Laidlaw
British peer
Irvine Laidlaw
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  • 2015
    Age 72
    Laidlaw part owns a $2.1 billion wind-farm project, and earlier this year secured the largest clean-energy financing in 2015 from eight lenders, which included Deutsche Bank AG.
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    In 2015, the University of Leeds launched an official opening for the £26 million Laidlaw Library, named after Irvine Laidlaw, who had previously studied economics at the University in the 1960s.
    More Details Hide Details His £9 million donation is the largest the university has received from any donor.
  • 2014
    Age 71
    In 2014, an undergraduate internship scheme was set up at the University of St. Andrews through a donation from Lord Laidlaw who is an honorary graduate of the University.
    More Details Hide Details Laidlaw and his wife Christine divide their time between an apartment in Monaco overlooking the harbour; and their South African home, an early 20th-century 23,200 m2 estate in Noordhoek, near Cape Town. At the time of the purchase, in November 2005, it was the country's most expensive property, bought for R106-million. Laidlaw regularly competes in historic car racing around the world with his Porsche 904GTS, Porsche 904/6, Maserati 250S & Maserati 6CM. Laidlaw also won a medal in the Scottish amateur rally, using a Ford Focus ST. In 2007 Laidlaw added a 1001 hp Bugatti Veyron to his extensive car collection, which is sometimes seen between Noordhoek and Cape Town, on the world-famous coastal road Chapman's Peak Drive. Laidlaw has won the Key West Regatta twice using his Swan 60 cruiser-racer, Highland Fling. He began a voyage around the world in Oceanco built motor yacht, the Lady Christine, in 2003.
  • 2009
    Age 66
    He closed the Trust in 2009 because he was spending more time in South Africa and said he wanted to focus his charitable giving there.
    More Details Hide Details It is not known how much he has gifted in his new adopted country but he was involved in some township housing project.
  • 2008
    Age 65
    In 2008, Laidlaw became a sponsor to Excelsior Academy in Newcastle's West End.
    More Details Hide Details He donated £30,000,000 towards the construction of the school.
    Laidlaw donated £25,000 to the 2008 London Mayoral election campaign of Boris Johnson.
    More Details Hide Details In 2008, Lord Laidlaw was described by The Guardian as a "Monaco-based tax exile". Lord Laidlaw was criticised in April 2007 in the press for failing to become UK tax resident despite being appointed to the House of Lords. The BBC said that, in a letter seen by them, Laidlaw "cites a variety of personal reasons" for non-compliance. Criticism by Dennis Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Coddenham, chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, on assurances given to the Commission by Laidlaw to become a UK tax resident by April 2004, were followed by Laidlaw taking leave of absence from the House of Lords. In 2010 following the enactment of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 he stepped down from his seat in the House of Lords to maintain his non-domiciled status and so be able to avoid paying UK residents' taxes.
  • 2007
    Age 64
    In 2007, in emerged that the Scottish Executive had given sufficient donations to pay the salary of the CEO Laidlaw Youth project, Maureen McGinn – who is also the wife of Scotland's most senior civil servant, Sir John Elvidge.
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    In 2007, he set up the Laidlaw Youth Trust which from 2007 to 2009 spent over £6million in Scotland on good causes related to disadvantaged children and young people.
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  • 2004
    Age 61
    His main vehicle was the Laidlaw Youth Project, which supported a range of charitable work for disadvantaged youngsters in Scotland from 2004 to 2007 when it became the Laidlaw Youth Trust.
    More Details Hide Details He has also donated:
    In 2004, Laidlaw said that he would over the next 20–30 years donate most of his fortune to helping disadvantaged young people.
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    One of the largest financial backers of the UK's Conservative Party, Laidlaw was made a life peer as Baron Laidlaw, of Rothiemay in Banffshire on 14 June 2004.
    More Details Hide Details According to the records of the UK Electoral Commission, on 27 November 2007, Laidlaw gave a donation of £2,990,532.20 to the Conservatives.
  • 1988
    Age 45
    In 1988 Laidlaw founded Abbey Business Centres, a subsidiary of IIR providing serviced office space, meeting room facilities and virtual office packages in 13 business centres in Great Britain.
    More Details Hide Details The first business centre opened in Glasgow, and soon the company opened up another centre in Slough, Berkshire. Other centres were added, and in 2009 a total of 13 centres made up the organisation.
  • 1962
    Age 19
    Laidlaw previously owned and raced a Jaguar, which won Le Mans a number of times throughout the 1950s, along with a number of other vintage cars, including a 1962 Ferrari GTO. in 2013, Irvine Laidlaw stopped racing.
    More Details Hide Details He recently sold a collection of classic sports cars to raise £17 million.
  • 1942
    Born on December 22, 1942.
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