The Legal Services Board (LSB) today announces the reappointment of Sarah Chambers as the Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, and Adam Cooper and Mark McLaren as Consumer Panel Members.
Sarah has been Chair since 1 May 2018, and her first term of office will end on 30 April 2021. She has been reappointed for a further three-year term to 30 April 2024.
The announcement follows the publication of the LSB’s State of Legal Services Report 2020, last week. It gives an in-depth review of the legal services sector following ten years of independent regulation. The LSB concludes that there is a need to put the public and consumers at the heart of legal services. Organisations inside and outside the legal services sector need to work together to widen public access to advice and support, ensuring that no one has a worse outcome or quality of service due to their background or life circumstances.
In light of the report’s findings, the LSB will publish a new strategy for the legal services sector later this year and work with the Consumer Panel and others to drive improvements that lead to fairer outcomes for people who need legal advice.
Dr Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Services Board, said:
“I am delighted that Sarah has agreed to serve a second term as Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel. Her leadership and commitment to making sure the interests of consumers are put right at the heart of legal services regulation are invaluable. Over the last few months, Sarah and the Consumer Panel have supported the development of a new strategy for legal services regulation. I look forward to working together to reshape legal services to better meet the needs of people who need them.”
Adam’s first term commenced on 1 April 2018 and ends on 31 March 2021. He has been reappointed to 31 March 2024.
Mark’s first term commenced on 1 January 2017 and ends on 31 December 2020. He has been reappointed for a further period of three years to 31 December 2023.
Sarah Chambers, Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, said:
“People in need of legal services are experiencing more difficulties this year than ever before in recent memory, with the toxic combination of the pandemic and restricted access to legal aid and free legal services compounding the problems that many individuals face in securing high-quality services that they can afford. The next three years will be critical in finding ways to tackle these problems, to give greater confidence to individuals and businesses that they can choose providers who can give them the service they need. I am proud to be leading the Consumer Panel, with its range of experienced and insightful members, through this difficult period.”
Notes to Editor
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.
Sarah Chambers – Sarah is an expert in regulation, competition and consumer policy, with leadership experience at Board level. Sarah was formerly, Chief Executive of PostComm (2004-2008), and has wide-ranging experience as a senior civil servant in various roles (Sarah was Director of Consumer & Competition Policy, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from 2008 to 2011, and Director of Renewable Energy Deployment at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2011 to 2013).Until recently, Sarah was a Non-Executive Director of the Competition & Markets Authority, and holds a number of other public appointments, consultancy and trustee roles – including Commissioner of the Electoral Commission, Judicial Appointments Commission Panellist (appointing judges at all levels); member of the Pensions Regulator Determinations Panel; member of the Consumer Engagement Group of UK Power Networks; Chair of the Applications Panel of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code; and Trustee and Vice-Chair of Greenhouse Sports, a charity which aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in London through the provision of sports programmes.
Past appointments include: Member of the Qualifications Committee of the Bar Standards Board (2012 – 17) and Independent Director at the Payments Council (2014 – 15). She was previously a Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel Member
Adam Cooper – Adam Cooper BA FCA is an experienced regulation and competition professional, with a strong record of senior leadership and delivery across the public and private sectors. He is currently Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis at the Competition and Markets Authority. Between 2016 and 2018 he was Director of Policy and Engagement at the National Infrastructure Commission. Previously he held a range of senior roles at between 2011 and 2016, Adam worked in a range of roles at Ofgem and the Competition Commission. His private sector experience includes time at Ernst and Young, where he qualified as an accountant, and at Abbey National plc.
Mark McLaren – As well as providing public affairs and policy advice to a range of organisations, Mark McLaren is a non-executive director of the Property Ombudsman and a member of the General Optical Council Fitness to Practice Panel. He is also the Class Representative for the Consumer Rights Act 2015 collective action on car delivery charges.
For nine years to Autumn 2015, Mark worked for Which? (the Consumers’ Association) 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 itself. Earlier in his career, he worked for Age UK, the UK’s leading charity for older people, in public and policy roles.