Legal Services Board announces new Board Members

The Ministry of Justice and Legal Services Board (LSB) today announced the appointment of Catherine Brown, Tim Sawyer CBE and Ian Hamer OBE as new lay members of the Board of the LSB. Catherine Brown and Tim Sawyer are being appointed for four year terms with effect from 1 April 2019, and Ian Hamer OBE will be appointed on 1 October 2019 for a four year term.

The appointments were made by the Lord Chancellor in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007. The LSB’s Chair Dr Helen Phillips said:

I am delighted to welcome Catherine, Tim and Ian to the Board. They will each bring important and significant experience to the Board’s work, and will be in a position to contribute extensively to our agenda of regulatory reform as well as modernisation, growth and innovation in legal services delivery.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks, on behalf of the LSB, to Terry Babbs, who steps down on 31 March 2019, and Jeremy Mayhew, who steps down on 30 September 2019, for their distinguished service as Legal Services Board members.”

The Ministry of Justice and LSB also announced today that non-lay members of the Board Jemima Coleman and Michael Smyth CBE QC (Hon) are being re-appointed for second terms of office as Board Members with effect from 18 April 2019, and that lay member of the Board Catharine Seddon is being re-appointed for a second term of office as Board Member with effect from 1 October 2019.


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Notes for editors:

  1. Catherine Brown is an experienced non-executive and chief executive who has worked in the public and private sectors. She is currently an independent Board Member at the Aneurin Bevin University Hospital Board, where she also chairs the Audit Committee. Catherine is also a member of the Wellcome Trust Advisory Board on Diversity & Inclusion in Science, and of Airport Coordination Ltd, an independent slot coordination company with regulatory responsibilities. Her previous non-executive roles have included Independent Trustee of Cymorth Cymru, Trustee of the Whitehall and Industry Group (and member of the Audit and Risk Committee) and Equal Opportunities Commissioner. In terms of executive roles, Catherine was Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency between 2012 and 2017, Chief Executive of the Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency between 2011 and 2012, where she had previously been Chief Executive Officer (2008 to 2011) and Chief Operating Officer (2007 to 2008). Prior to this, Catherine held roles in BUPA (1997 to 2007). Catherine is a CIMA qualified accountant.Catherine’s appointment as an LSB Board member will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023.
  2. Tim Sawyer CBE is a senior executive experienced in turnaround, start-up and growth opportunities, having both a UK and international SME perspective. Tim is currently Chief Investment Officer at Innovate UK, which is the innovation agency of the UK Government, focused on driving productivity and growth by helping business realise the potential for new technology. Tim is also Chairman of Folk2Folk, a peer to peer lending company covering all of rural England, and Chair of Trelonk Engineering Ltd, a Cornish based not for profit enterprise which works with local SMEs to build local engineering skills. Tim also holds a number of non-executive roles including: Independent Visitor of Springhill Prison, Competition Appeal Tribunal Member and Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Bedfordshire. Tim is a member of the Chartered Institute of Banking and began his career in banking, firstly at Lloyds Bank, and subsequently at Abbey National, where he was Head of Banking between 1991 and 1999.Tim’s appointment as an LSB Board member will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023.
  3. Ian Hamer OBE was a non-executive director at the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care between 2009 and 2017, at which he chaired the Scrutiny Committee, with oversight of nine regulators of health (all UK) and social care (England). From 2007 to 2009, he was a lay member of the General Optical Council and from 1993 to 2003 Chairman of the Air Transport Users Council, responsible for representing the interests of consumers of air transport. Ian was a Justice of the Peace between 1985 and 2016, where he was Chairman in the Family, Youth and Adult Courts, and Chair of the Bench Training & Development Committee. In terms of his executive career, Ian was Managing Director of a number of companies specialising in plastics including General Plastic Machinery Company Ltd (1990 to 2007), SSX Group plc (1985 to 1990) and Supreme Polymers Ltd (1980 to 1985).Ian’s appointment as an LSB Board member will run from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2023.
  4. The Board member roles carry a non-pensionable remuneration of £15,000 per annum for at least 30 days’ work.
  5. The appointments were made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.
  6. The Board has been carrying a lay vacancy since Dr Helen Phillips took up the role of LSB Chair in June 2018 – Dr Phillips has previously been an ordinary member of the Board. The other vacancies arises with the retirement of Terry Babbs from the Board on 31 March 2019, and Jeremy Mayhew on 30 September 2019.
  7. Jemima Coleman has been re-appointed for a four-year second term of office, from 18 April 2019 to 17 April 2023. Jemima is an experienced employment lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and is on her firm’s Corporate Governance Advisory Team. She has chaired various working parties of the Employment Lawyers Association’s Legislative and Policy Committee. She is on the Steering Committee of the 30% Club Professional Services Firms Initiative. In 2015 she served on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee. She is a non-executive director of Creative Access, a community interest company, which aims to improve diversity in the media and creative industries. She is a trustee and governor of Highgate School.
  8. Michael Smyth CBE QC (Hon) has been re-appointed for a three-year second term of office, from 18 April 2019 to 17 April 2022. Michael has been a solicitor since 1982 with the majority of this time spent at Clifford Chance advising both business and private clients. He sits on the Board of the Fundraising Regulator and is Chair of its Complaints Committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and of the Professional Advisory Board of the Wesleyan Assurance Society. He is a Freeman of the City of London.
  9. Catharine Seddon has been re-appointed for a four-year second term of office, from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2023. Catharine spent 20 years as a film maker. She started as a graduate trainee producer with the BBC and soon specialised in high-end film documentary, ultimately setting up her own production company which made films principally for C4. In 2002, she became a magistrate and eventually left television to take up other judicial roles and to become a member of the Human Tissue Authority and the independent appeals committee of the HFEA. Catharine is now the Senior Independent Director of the Gambling Commission, and sits on the Commission’s ARC and its 4th National Lottery Committee. She is a member of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator. She sits on tribunals in mental health and employment and as a lay assessor on high profile civil cases in the County courts. She is also a trustee for The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy. As ARAC chair for the HTA, she oversaw the introduction of a comprehensive programme of assurance mapping. Catharine will take over from Terry Babbs as the Chair of the LSB’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
  10. Details of other members of the Legal Services Board and their biographies can be found on the LSB’s website here.
  11. 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.
  12. The LSB oversees ten 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, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is an approved regulator for probate activities only but does not currently authorise anyone to offer this service.
  13. As at 1 April 2017, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 148,690 solicitors, 15,281 barristers, 6,809 chartered legal executives and 5,958 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £35 billion per annum (2017) which is up 25% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.

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