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Legal Services Consumer Panel

As an organisation it is important that we have the mechanisms in place to ensure consistency and challenge in our approach to consumer issues and one of our first priorities has been to set up our Consumer Panel.

The Consumer Panel will play an important role in ensuring that the views and interests of consumers are reflected in our plans. The Panel is independent of the Board and has considerable scope to advise and influence the LSB from the consumer perspective.

The LSB announced the appointment of Dr. Jane Martin as Chair of the Consumer Panel on 8 December 2016.

The Legal Services Consumer Panel has its own website that includes information on its current projects, as well as copies of its publications, consultation responses and Panel meeting minutes. The Consumer Panel’s website can be found at: www.legalservicesconsumerpanel.org.uk

The relationship between the LSB and the Consumer Panel is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding.

Panel Members

Dr Jane Martin CBE (Chair)

Dr Jane Martin is Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel and a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Until January 2017 she was Local Government Ombudsman and Chair of the Commission for Local Administration in England. During her seven year term she was responsible for transforming the organisation and introducing initiatives to increase transparency, including the on-line publication of all Ombudsman's decisions. In a career dedicated to public service and accountability, she has conducted academic research at the University of Birmingham and Warwick Business School on public management and governance. She has worked in local authorities across England for the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) and was the first Executive Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny. Her knowledge and experience of public service improvement and regulation is extensive. She was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours List 2017 for services to administrative justice and transparency in local government.

Location: Coventry

Andy Foster

Andy is Business Development Director for Capita's Local Government, Health and Property business based in London.

Andy has over 20 years' experience delivering local, national and international consumer protection strategies for government agencies. At Capita he is responsible for developing their loval government portfolio by growing partnerships that help transform services, reduce operating costs and create social value. Andy was formerly Operations and Policy Director for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) during which time he was responsible for the commercial and policy output of the Institute. This included leading for CTSI on the consumer landscape changes which led to the creation of the consumer code of practice approval scheme and the national business education resource 'Business Companion'.

Andy is a regular advisor to the UK government on consumer matters and played a key role in recent institutional reforms of the consumer protection landscape in the UK and during the horsemeat investigation of 2013. Andy also has extensive international experience having represented the UK on European food law enforcement matters and has worked extensively with emerging European Union candidate nations as they implement and review their own regulatory regimes. Andy was previously a member of the British Board of Film Classification Consultative Committee.

In his spare time Andy volunteers for a number of charitable organisations including the Prince's Trust as a business mentor where he helps young people set up and grow their own enterprise. Andy is a keen cricketer, playing in the Lincolnshire League, and a somewhat reluctant runner having completed a number of marathons in recent years, raising funds for charity along the way.

Location: Lincolnshire

Cathy Gallagher

Cathy leads on the delivery of Solicitors Regulation and Pro Bono Service development for the Law Centres Network of England & Wales. Through roles in local and central government and in new and existing Law Centres, she is experienced in promoting improvement in the quality, delivery and extension of public legal services.

Cathy delivered the start-up strategic management for the New South Wales Legal Assistance Forum, Sydney and the Asylum Seeker Support programme, Rochdale Council. Formerly a practicing solicitor, she worked as Principal Litigation Officer in both Commissions for Equal Opportunities and for Racial Equality.

Cathy has particular interest in the advantages of alternatives to the litigation process and recently gained a Masters in Dispute Resolution. She is a Trustee of the North West Legal Support Trust.

Location: West Yorkshire

Dr Michelle Goddard

Michelle is currently Director of Policy and Standards at the Market Research Society responsible for promoting and protecting the research sector’s quality standards. She also serves as the European Research Federation (EFAMRO) Director of Policy & Communication.

With experience in consumer market regulation gained in a range of academic, policy and enforcement roles over the last 20 years, Michelle most recently led on consumer advocacy in postal services policy and research at Consumer Futures, the statutory consumer body. She was the first Chief Executive of the Barbados Fair Trading Commission and held several senior public policy advisory roles with Caribbean governments and agencies. A non-practicing barrister, Michelle also spent time as a consumer lawyer at Which? and as an Inquiry Secretary at the UK Competition Commission.

Location: London

Frances Harrison

Frances is a specialist in consumer affairs. She sits on the Finance and Leasing Association's Code of Practice Monitoring Group and the Registry Trust's Consumer Panel. In addition to paid employment, Frances is Vice Chair of Brighton and Hove Citizens Advice Bureau and is a policy adviser to the training organisation, Developing Youth Practice. Her career spans policy analysis with a number of national bodies as well as management of front line services for young people and consumer advice services. Her past roles include leading training and support in consumer law and practice for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, Consumer Editor of the Adviser Magazine, and Head of Policy Research and Development at the National Consumer Council. She has extensive experience in representing the interests of consumers on regulatory bodies, government working groups, and trade associations; and has been the elected Chair of both Consumer Congress and the Institute of Consumer Affairs.

Location: East Sussex

Mark McLaren

Mark McLaren is currently a council member of the Property Ombudsman. For nine years to Autumn 2015, Mark worked for Which? where he was directly involved in the work that led to all legal professionals (in 2010) and both estate agents (in 2008) and letting agents (in 2014) being required to join an independent redress scheme. At Which?, he also worked on a wide range of legal issues including reforms to the home buying process, private rented housing, will writing, power of attorney, consumer law reform as well as the Legal Services Act 2007.

Location: York

Marlene Winfield OBE

Marlene has spent her career giving a voice to users of public services. She advises the London-wide end of life care programme, Coordinate My Care, and the Royal College of Physicians on patient and carer policy. She is a Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust, chairing its Health and Welfare Committee, and is a Non-executive Director of the Professional Record Standards Body for Health and Social Care. She was previously Director for Patients and Public in the Department of Health Informatics Directorate and Head of Policy Research and Strategy at the National Consumer Council. She was a member of the Civil Justice Council, the British and Irish Ombudsman Association Executive, and the National Information Governance Board. For 15 years she ran a support group that helped thousands of British women obtain compensation for injuries from the faulty Dalkon Shield contraceptive device. In 2000, she was made an OBE for services to civil justice reform.

Location: London