Brett Kinsman
Managing Director

Brett founded 1st Line Defence in 2011, and with over 20 years within the UXO world from his time in the army and from the commercial industry, Brett brings a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the business. Brett instilled a philosophy into the company from the beginning of being upfront and completely honest with our customers and providing/recommending only services that are required and of not scaremongering with additional services that are not necessary.

Nikki Boost
Director of Finance and Business Management

Nikki has 26 years’ experience working in Finance and Business Management. After retiring her career working for an Investment Bank in 2014 to have her son she returned to work to join 1st Line Defence. Nikki works in close partnership with the company’s management team and is highly focused on risk and quality management for the business.

Mark Watson
Operations Manager

Mark has a strong military background having served 15 years with the British Army and 3 years with the Australian Defence Force. Since leaving the forces he has been involved with commercial Unexploded Ordnance Mitigation for the last 11 years. During this period he has lead Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response and Battle Area Clearance teams within Lebanon and worked on a variety of European Marine UXO surveys along with many other UK projects. Mark has been with 1st Line Defence since its foundation.

Phil Baptie
Head of Research and Marketing

After graduating from the University of Southampton in 2004, Phil has worked in the commercial UXO sector since 2005, overseeing thousands of UXO Risk Assessments across the UK, offshore and internationally. Phil heads the 1st Line Defence Research Department, ultimately overseeing the quality and content of the reports and ensuring that high standards in research, analysis and conclusions are met. Phil is also responsible for Marketing, tasked with the promotion and development of the business via managing exhibitions, presentations and news/social media.

Lana Gosnell
Project Manager

After graduating from her Bachelors with honours in the US, Lana went on to complete a master’s degree in London before joining 1st Line Defence in 2013. Since then, she has worked in the commercial UXO sector and managed hundreds of UXO projects across the UK. Lana oversees the Operations Department and is responsible for providing excellence and high quality standards across all our services.

Aggie Raton
Finance Manager

Aggie completed her Master’s Degree in Management in 2005. She has more than fifteen years’ experience in accounts in internationals companies. Aggie primarily is responsible for management accounts reporting. She leads a dedicated finance team to deliver a high quality and excellent customer focused accounting service.

Zara Hunt
Business Development Manager

Zara’s role includes leading a team of in-house consultants and account managers to look after all of your project’s needs. She graduated from Brighton University with a degree in Psychology and has pursued a career is client relationship management in the Construction industry. Zara is an avid netball player and spends her time outside the office coaching her own netball club.

Matthew Negus
Research Manager

After graduating with a degree in History and English Literature from Lancaster University, Matthew started his career path at 1st Line Defence. A member of the Research Department since 2013 he was promoted to Senior Researcher in 2015 and now holds the position of Research Manager, overseeing a team of ten graduate researchers. With a keen interest in military history and painstaking attention to detail, Matthew ensures the continuous improvement and development of our research process, archives and report quality.

Neil Course
Contracts Manager

Following a combined 34 years in the Royal Engineers and the Police Service, Neil joined 1st Line Defence in May 2017 as the Contracts Manager. Neil brings with him a wealth of experience, a highly driven and versatile individual, with in-depth experience and a sustained record of success managing teams. A genuine team player, with excellent communication and negotiation skills that have been demonstrated in many areas. Reliable, extremely committed and fully used to working within highly pressurized environments.

Edward Hopkinson
QSHE & Facilities Advisor

Edward gained a Master’s degree in Quality from Leeds University, and a Chartered Membership of IOSH after studying at Health, Safety & environmental Management at Portsmouth University. He obtained a DMS in Risk and Business Continuity Management from University of Hertfordshire, and has been involved in Quality and Health & Safety over the past forty years, and Environmental studies for twenty years. Principle author of ISO9001 & 14001 and OHSAS18001 for 1st Line Defence.

Alex Turner
Research Supervisor

Alex supervises the team of Project Researchers. He ensures that both individual reports and the entire report writing process are constantly being reviewed and improved. Within 1st Line Defence, he was a Project Researcher for two years and the Senior Researcher for another year, writing over 200 reports. He graduated from the University of Bradford in 2013 with a degree in History (Modern European). He maintains an interest in reading, travelling and music.

Nick Hounsom
Project Geophysicist

Nick graduated from University College London in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Geoscience, after earning his Geology & Geography Bachelor’s degree from the University of Birmingham in 2012. Becoming part of the team in June 2015, Nick collates, reviews and interprets the subsurface geophysical data obtained from magnetometer surveys, as part of the unexploded ordnance risk mitigation process.

Dedicated, Helpful, Professional.

Our office staff are committed to providing the best service to all our clients. Our full-time in-house research team of enthusiastic graduate historians (top) undertake the research and investigation for hundreds of preliminary and detailed UXO risk assessments every year. The estimating team (bottom left) are our friendly, helpful first point of call for most of our enquiries and offer consultancy and prices for our services. Our expert financial team (bottom right) keeps everything operating smoothly behind the scenes and keeps track of our growth and assets.

Need some advice? Looking for a UXO expert?

Contact us if you need more information or have questions or queries. We are always happy to assist or advise where we can.

Call: 01992 245020 or Email: