Preferred candidate for the OLC Chair announced

Sir Michael Pitt, Chairman of the Legal Services Board (LSB), has today announced that Wanda Goldwag has been selected as the LSB’s preferred candidate to the post of Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) after an open competition.

Ms. Goldwag, whose selection has also been approved by the Lord Chancellor, will now appear before the Justice Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny. Ms Goldwag would succeed Steve Green, whose term of office ends on 31 March 2017.

Sir Michael Pitt, Chairman of the Legal Services Board said:

“I am delighted to announce Wanda Goldwag’s nomination as Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints.

The Legal Ombudsman makes a real difference for consumers of legal services in England and Wales. It plays a vital part in the regulatory system and helps maintain the necessary standards of service we expect of legal services providers.

Wanda will bring essential skills and extensive experience to the OLC and subject to the report of the Justice Select Committee, be in a position to contribute immediately and significantly to the work of the Legal Ombudsman.

I would also like to thank Steve Green for the commitment and dedication he has shown to the Legal Ombudsman during his term in office.”



For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).

Notes for editors:

1. The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) requires the Legal Services Board (LSB) to appoint the Chair and Members of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) [Schedule 15 of the Act].

The appointment of Chairman of the OLC requires the approval of the Lord Chancellor.

2. The Office for Legal Complaint (OLC) is responsible for establishing and administering the Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales – the independent and impartial complaints resolution body for the legal sector.

3. The OLC Chairman must be a lay person.

4. Pre-appointment hearings enable select committees to take evidence from preferred candidates for key public appointments. They take place before an appointment is confirmed, but after the selection process has taken place. Details of the process can be found here. The Justice Select Committee’s pre-appointment scrutiny of the Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints will take place on 22 March.

5. Wanda Goldwag had a 25-year career in marketing and her last corporate role was as Managing Director of British Airways owned AIR MILES.

Since then she has had a series of Non-Executive and regulatory roles including at the Performing Right Society, as a Postcomm Commissioner and until March 2017 as a Civil Service Commissioner.

She is currently an adviser to Smedvig Venture Capital, Chair and Independent Standards Commissioner of the Senet Group, the body set up to self-regulate the gambling industry, Non-Executive Chair of True North Human Capital and a lay member of the QC appointments panel.

She has a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

6. The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.

7. The LSB oversees nine approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants are listed as approved regulators in relation only to reserved probate activities.

8. As at 1 April 2016, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 145,059 solicitors, 15,288 barristers, 6,848 chartered legal executives and 5,697 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £32 billion per annum (2015) which is up 23% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.

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