THURS 17/07/2008 - The first nine members of the Legal Services Board were appointed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw today.
The board was set up by the Legal Services Act 2007 to be a single independent oversight regulator of legal services to replace the current oversight regulators.
The new members, who will together bring experience in consumer issues, regulatory experience, the legal sector and public service, will formally take up post on 1 September 2008 for a three-year period, following consultation with the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.
Jack Straw said: Increasing public confidence in the justice system is at the heart of the legal services reform programme.
Establishing a new Legal Services Board is another important step towards raising the standards and simplifying regulation in the legal services sector. The Legal Services Board has an important remit as a new independent and publicly accountable body."
As a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Services Board will be independent from government and the legal profession. The chair and other board members will be responsible for the design and outlook of the organisation, for establishing the new regulatory framework and for providing oversight of approved regulators and licensing authorities. It is expected that the Legal Services Board will become fully operational by early 2010.
The members are:
A non-executive director at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme since 2005 and a non-executive director of New Star Private Equity Investment Trust plc. He was also a non-executive director of Which Ltd for six years. He began his city career as a media analyst for James Capel & Co and Smith New Court. He joined the Mirror Group plc in 1993 and became an Executive Director as part of the team appointed to rebuild the company.
The recently retired Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, who chaired a number of Boards, including the Nottinghamshire Criminal Justice Board. He was awarded the Queens Police Medal for services to Policing in 2001.
Until recently General Counsel at Reuters, and formerly a partner at Rowe and Maw, now Chief Executive of the Practical Law Company, an innovative new business providing services to legal providers.
Appointed Executive Chairman of Monitor, the independent regulator of the NHS Foundation Trusts in December 2003. He is also Monitor's accounting officer. He was Director-General of the British Retail Consortium from 2000 to 2003 and Head of the Infrastructure Investments Department at the Bank of Scotland. He joined the British Linen Bank (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Scotland) in 1994. Before that he held a variety of posts in the Scottish Office and Whitehall.
Michael Napier QC, CBE:
A solicitor and the senior partner of national law firm Irwin Mitchell. He is the Attorney-Generals Pro Bono Envoy, was a founding member of the Civil Justice Council and was President of the Law Society of England & Wales in 2000. He is a bencher of Grays Inn. He joined Irwin Mitchell in 1972 (then three partners, now 110 partners and over 1800 people in seven cities) and has been a senior partner since 1983. Initially a full time advocate in crime, mental health and employment law, he later became a specialist in litigation particularly in personal injury. From 1985 to 1994 he was joint senior partner of Pannone Napier,the international law firm which pioneered multi-party litigation in the UK.
Barbara Saunders OBE:
An independent consumer consultant with experience of public policy in the UK and European Union. She is currently a member of the Board of Passenger Focus, the Rail Passengers Council and a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. She has held a number of non-executive positions and previously chaired the Financial Services Consumer panel and Insurance Ombudsman Bureau, and was a lay member of the Law Society Professional Standards Appeal Panel.
A Panel Chair at the Judicial Appointments Commission, and until very recently Deputy Chief Executive at the Electoral Commission, following an earlier career at the Home Office, the Constitution Unit and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. She brings non-executive experience from a Housing Association, as a school governor and as Chair of the Westminster Volunteer Bureau.
General Counsel to the Board at the FSA, where he provides legal advice to the FSA Board and its top management. He was appointed General Counsel in April 2000 after three years as deputy General Counsel, leading FSAs input into the Financial Services and Markets Act. In addition to acting as a lawyer, he has spent part of his regulatory career as a frontline supervisor of investment markets, and as a policymaker.
A barrister since 1992, he is a founder member of Matrix Chambers. His early practice included general common law and criminal law, but he now specialises in public law, particularly judicial review and challenges to the decisions of government, regulators, local authorities, schools and health bodies. His other current roles include Chair of Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and as a Legal Services Commissioner. He was formerly a County Councillor in Cambridgeshire and a Graduate Representative on the Cambridge University Senate.