Non-Executive Member, Legal Services Consumer Panel – Legal Services Board
The Legal Services Consumer Panel is a permanent, discrete champion for consumers of legal services. It works to make sure that legal services regulators consider and act on the user perspective.
The Panel is established by the Legal Services Board (LSB), the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales, under the Legal Services Act 2007. It is made up of eight lay members with varied experience and expertise that includes: charitable, private and public sectors, advice provision, economics, trading standards and government.
Both the LSB and the Panel are independent of government and the legal profession.
The Consumer Panel meets as a group around five or six times a year. It works differently to Trustee Boards and some other public bodies. Members are not asked to act either as Trustees or as traditional public sector Non-Executive Directors, but to contribute directly their experience, knowledge and understanding of the needs and experiences of both individual and small business consumers.
Each Panel member leads on a specific area of the work programme, working closely with Secretariat colleagues. This might include contributing to meetings and teleconferences, speaking at events, contributing to research specifications and writing and reviewing draft papers. At Panel meetings the Panel leads update fellow Panel members on progress being made.
As well as advice to the LSB, the Panel also seeks to influence the Legal Ombudsman, the regulators and representative bodies and Government where appropriate. The time Panel members contribute between actual Panel meetings is therefore extremely important and vital to enabling the Panel to make full use of the knowledge and experiences of its members.
Qualities required for the role of a Panel member
It is essential that in your written application, you give examples of your proven experience against each of the following:
• An understanding of, and a deep seated commitment to, promoting and protecting the interests of consumers and the wider community;
• An understanding of diversity and the application of equal opportunities working in practice;
• The ability to listen and challenge in a constructive manner, providing an objective and independent point of view;
• The ability to work as part of a team, working collaboratively and co-operatively, a highly developed ability to take account of different perspectives as part of a collegiate decision making process and to take responsibility for decisions made;
• Demonstrable track record in your own field(s) appropriate to membership of a national body; experience of operating at a strategic level in the public, private and/or independent sectors;
• The ability to analyse and evaluate complex information in order to form opinions and make fair, balanced and proportionate decisions based on evidence and reasoned argument;
• Excellent communication and influencing skills.
• The Legal Services Consumer Panel is ideally looking for a candidate who has experience of issues affecting BAME and/or disabled and/or vulnerable consumers;
• Some knowledge of law and/or legal services, or wider advice services;
• An appreciation of the contribution that legal services make to society as a whole.
Candidates must also be able to demonstrate at least one competency from the list below:
Skills and Knowledge (demonstrate at least one)
- Market research including a broad understanding of both primary and secondary market research methodologies, familiarity with analytical tools and processes, and an ability to communicate observations;
- Regulatory understanding, including knowledge of front line regulation from other regulated industries;
- Understanding of the economic impact of policy and extracting its implications for future policy development and practice;
- Consumer policy development and analysis;
- Community engagement.
Diversity and Equality of Opportunity
The LSB and Consumer Panel welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people with diverse ages, experience and backgrounds for these posts. Applications from throughout England and Wales are encouraged and welcome. It is important that the Panel has as diverse a mix of members as possible, reflecting the diversity of users of legal services.
Ineligibility for Appointment and Conflicts of Interest
The Legal Services Act 2007 does specific some circumstances in which a candidate is not allowed to serve as a member of the Consumer Panel. This includes anyone who is:
a. A member of the Legal Services Board or its staff;
b. A member of the Office for Legal Complaints, an Ombudsman appointed by it or a member of its staff;
c. A member of the governing body, or of the staff, of an approved regulator;
d. An authorised person in relation to an activity which is a reserved legal activity;
e. A person authorised, by a person designated under section 5(1) of the Compensation Act 2006 (c.29), to provide services which are regulated claims management services (within the meaning of that Act);
f. An Advocate of Scotland;
g. A solicitor in Scotland;
h. A member of the Bar in Northern Ireland;
i. A Solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.
Conflicts of Interest
Successful candidates must ensure that during the period of their tenure they are committed to and conduct themselves in accordance with the seven principles of public life. They must not, in any capacity, engage in any activity that might undermine, or be reasonably thought to undermine their independence and impartiality. They must not undertake any tasks or activity that may in any way limit their ability to discharge their duties in full.
More generally, there five issues most frequently encountered that could lead to real or apparent conflicts of interest:
- Financial interests or share ownership – for example, holding shares in a firm that is considering applying or has licensed body status in relation to an alternative business structure (ABS) could be a particular area of concern;
- Expertise or activity in particular areas, that whilst not precluding appointment may be perceived by the public as a conflict of interest – foe example, it is especially important that association with legal firms are explored fully;
- Membership of some societies or organisations – for example, dealings with the legal and financial sectors will need to be explored fully;
- Rewards for past or future contributions or favours;
- The activities, associations and employment of relatives or partners.
Please submit the following:
- A copy of your CV;
- A statement of suitability (maximum 2 pages) explaining how you meet the qualities required of a Panel member as set out earlier in this document;
- The names and contact details of two referees. Please not referees will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview. WIG will seek your permission prior to approaching referees;
- Equalities Monitoring Form (downloadable below).
- Documentation can either be submitted via the Apply Now button above or by email to Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent via [email protected]
- If you have any questions about this opportunity, or would value a confidential discussion, please contact Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent via [email protected] or on 0207 222 1166.
- The deadline for applications is Midnight, Wednesday 23 October 2019.
- After the closing date, the appointment panel shall compile a shortlist, assessing candidates’ suitability for the role based on evidence provided in the CV and supporting statement.
- The appointment advisory panel will be chaired by Jemima Coleman, a non-lay member of the LSB Board, accompanied by the current Chair of the Consumer Panel, Sarah Chambers, and an independent member, Keith Richards.
- Final panel interviews will be held on Thursday 5 December 2019 in London.
- The LSB, with approval of the Lord Chancellor, will appoint candidates to the Legal Services Consumer Panel.