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Thursday, 08 December 2016

Legal Services Board confirms appointment of the new Consumer Panel Chair

The Legal Services Board (LSB) today announces the appointment of Dr Jane Martin as the new Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel (the Consumer Panel).

Dr Martin succeeds Elisabeth Davies who will be stepping down from her role at the end of December 2016. Mark McLaren has also been appointed to the Consumer Panel as a member.

Incoming Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, Dr Jane Martin, said:

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to play a role in ensuring the voice of the consumer is properly heard."

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

"I am delighted to congratulate Dr Martin on her appointment as Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel. She will find a Consumer Panel resolutely committed to making sure that the interests of consumers are put right at the heart of legal services regulation.

Dr Martin's wealth of experience and her past public services work will help drive the Consumer Panel forward as it moves into this new phase in its existence. I look forward to working with her closely.

I would also like to thank Elisabeth Davies for her enormous contribution to  the Legal Services Consumer Panel and wish her well. Her dedication to the rights of the consumer in legal services and her contribution to debates on the future of the sector will be missed."



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) required the LSB to establish a Consumer Panel to represent the interests of consumers. Members are appointed by the LSB with the approval of the Lord Chancellor.

  2. Dr Jane Martin is the Local Government Ombudsman and Chair of the Commission for Local Administration in England. In that role she is also a non-executive member of the Board of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Her 7-year term of office as Ombudsman comes to an end on 10 January 2017. She has recently been appointed to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. In a career dedicated to understanding and promoting public service accountability, she has conducted research at the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick respectively and worked with local authorities across England. She was the first Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

  3. 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.

    Earlier in his career, Mark's previous roles included being public affairs adviser at Age UK, where he is now a pension fund trustee, and working in the House of Lords for a group of crossbench peers. He is now a freelance consumer policy and public affairs adviser.

  4. The new appointments are for a three year term from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019. They carry a non-pensionable remuneration of (for the Chair) £15,000 for at least 30 days work per year and (for the member) £3,380 for at least 13 days work per year.

  5. Details of other members of the Consumer Panel can be found here.

  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.