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LSB announces new appointment to the Office for Legal Complaints

The Legal Services Board (LSB) today announces the appointment of Elisabeth Bellamy (non-lay member), Annette Lovell (lay member) and Dr Jane Martin CBE (lay member) as new members of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC).
These appointment have been made by the Legal Services Board in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007.
Commenting on the appointment, Dr Helen Phillips said: 
 “I am delighted to congratulate Ms Bellamy, Ms Lovell and Dr Martin on their appointments to the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC). 
I offer my sincere congratulations to all three Board Members as I know their experiences in many diverse areas will immensely benefit the working of the OLC, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) and the interest of the consumer of legal services. 
In taking up her new role, Dr Martin will step down from her position as Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel. I thank her for all her hard work to make sure that the interests of consumers are put right at the heart of legal services regulation.
I would also like to thank the outgoing members for their invaluable contribution to the ongoing development of the Legal Ombudsman.





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].

  2. The 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 Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales, as set up by the OLC (its Board), is independent and impartial.  This means that when the service receives a complaint, it will look at the facts in each case and weigh-up both sides of the story.  The Ombudsman is not a consumer champion or part of the legal profession, and is also independent of Government.  There is no cost to the taxpayer.

  4. Elisabeth Bellamy – Elisabeth is a qualified and experienced solicitor with a varied legal background. Her early career included working for large firms both in the UK and Singapore. Since 2015 she has been a Director and Management Consultant with Purple Performance Ltd, her own business consultancy business. Immediately prior to that she held an in-house role on an interim basis for 13 months (maternity cover) with BASF plc. For 11 years she was Managing Partner at Drummonds Solicitors in Chester (2001 - 2012), a mid-sized practice which was subsequently merged with Linder Myers (2012 - 2014). Elisabeth is an independent Board Member of Archery GB, and has been a member of the Law Society Professional Standards and Ethics Committee for 6 years – Elisabeth will be standing down from this TLS committee to take up the OLC role.

  5. Annette Lovell - Since 2013 Annette has worked for the Financial Ombudsman Service, where she is the director of engagement.  This is her second period of employment with the Financial Ombudsman Service, having also worked there between 2010 and 2013, latterly as a lead ombudsman. Between 2013 and 2015, Annette worked for the Solicitors Regulation Authority as Director of Authorisation and then Director of Regulatory Policy. Annette is a former Deputy Chief Executive of the National Lottery Commission.

  6. Dr Jane Martin CBE – Jane was previously the Local Government Ombudsman and Chair of the Commission for Local Administration in England. In that role she was also a non-executive member of the Board of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and a vice-chair of the Ombudsman Association. Dr Martin is now a member of 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.  Dr Martin is currently Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, a role from which she will have to stand down to take up the post of OLC board member.

    In accepting the OLC Board member position, Dr Martin will step down from her position as Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel.  An open competition will be announced by the LSB shortly to recruit her successor.

  7. These appointments replace outgoing members Caroline Coates, Tony King and Jane McCall.

  8. 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. 

  9. 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..

  10. 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 £31 billion per annum (2016) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012.  For more information see here.