Accountability, information and openness in pandemic and beyond
Chief Executive, Scottish Legal Complaints Commission
Neil was appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in July 2015. The organisation is the single gateway for all complaints about the service provide lawyers and their professional conduct, and can award up to £20,000 compensation.
His previous background combines significant experience of regulation and complaints, and of the Scottish legal services market. Neil currently sits on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority, involved in both the governance of the organisation and in adjudication on complaints within the £20 billion UK advertising industry; he is a member of their Audit and Risk Committee, and Remuneration Committee. He is also Vice-chair and a trustee of Changing the Chemistry, a peer network supporting diversity of thought on UK boards.
In 2009 he was appointed by the Privy Council to sit on the General Dental Council, the regulatory and complaints body for 104,000 dental professionals in the UK and he served two terms on the Board (demitting in September 2017) as well as chairing the Remuneration Committee. Between 2004 and 2015 Neil worked with the Law Society of Scotland, latterly as their Director of Representation and Professional Support. He has previously held a number of other Executive and Non-Executive Director roles in organisations spanning the legal sector, healthcare, consultancy, and oil and gas. He holds a Law degree from Edinburgh University, and a Masters in Quality Management from Birmingham University.
Scottish Information Commissioner
Daren Fitzhenry took up post as Scottish Information Commissioner in October 2017, for a fixed term of six years. Prior to his current role, he was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force Legal Branch, heading up its legal advisory team, with wide-ranging experience in the development, implementation and enforcement of regulatory systems.
As Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren is responsible for the enforcement and promotion of Scotland’s freedom of information laws. This includes handling appeals about the way in which Scottish public authorities respond to information requests, promoting good practice and monitoring and assessing FOI performance.
He is strongly committed to the principles of freedom of information, recognising the significant benefits that FOI brings to society, not least its key role in enabling the public's participation and engagement in the issues which really matter to them.
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Rosemary Agnew took up the post of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on 1 May 2017. Immediately prior to this she was the Scottish Information Commissioner (2012-2017).
Since 2001, Rosemary has held various roles in relation to public sector complaints, including with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Local Government Ombudsman in the UK.
Rosemary is committed to transparent, sustainable improvement in Scottish public services. She sees complaints and what is learned from them as an integral part of the improvement landscape. Equally, she recognises the importance of being the final stage of the complaints process in Scotland for most public services and in ensuring that, where things go wrong for individuals, action is taken to put them right as far as possible.
Director of Public Law Morton Fraser LLP
Lynda is Director of Public Law within our Litigation Division based in Edinburgh.
She has spent most of her career with the Scottish Government, advising on public law issues. She has been involved in instructing and drafting legislation and has had considerable experience in public sector litigation in courts in Scotland and across the UK. She specialised in judicial review challenges, planning and other statutory appeals and in general reparation.
Lynda spent 8 years as Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament where she advised the Presiding Officer, the Chief Executive and the Committees of the Parliament on matters of legislative competence and on wider issues of public law. Lynda has a significant breadth of understanding of public and constitutional law issues in Scotland, of related litigation and of the policy and process surrounding law and decision making.
Lynda’s areas of expertise lie in litigation and dispute resolution, public procurement and state aid, personal injury, government, local government, public sector partners, data protection and GDPR.
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All of the speakers were strong and I learned a great deal which I can apply.