Consumers, Customers and Complaints in Scotland
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 Public Affairs and Policy, Ombudsman Services
Sarah leads on Scottish public affairs and policy for Ombudsman Services, a position she took up in September 2020.
Prior to that she had set up InsightScotland in May 2011 having spent 12 years in one of the world's biggest communications agencies, Fleishman-Hillard. She was Managing Director of the Scottish business from 2004 – 2011. Sarah also sat on the UK Board and was Vice Chair of their Global Public Affairs Practice Group. During this time she helped clients influence and shape legislation and policy in Scotland across issues as diverse as network development; transport; alcohol licensing, retail, energy policy; planning, financial services; water and land reform for clients that included Tesco; M&S; Diageo; 3; HBOS and MITIE; The Royal highland and Agricultural Society. She also managed Scottish Development International’s (SDI) public relations account in the UK and across EMEA.
Before going into consultancy, Sarah spent almost 8 years in local government where she worked developing policy across local government, working with both elected members and senior management. She managed a major lobbying and information campaign around the legislation which created Scotland’s current unitary council model. She then spent over 4 years as the Policy and Public Affairs Manager of the Association of Scottish Colleges where she led successful communications and lobbying campaigns which resulted in winning substantial additional funding for the FE sector and greater recognition and profile of Scotland’s colleges in political, business and media circles.
Sarah graduated from Glasgow University with an MA honours in Politics (1989), from Stirling University with a MSC in Industrial Relations (1992) and is currently studying for a BSc in Psychology from the Open University.
In her spare time she is a gardening mad mother!
Head of Public Affairs – Nations & Regions, Which?
Deputy Chief Ombudsman, Dispute Resolution Ombudsman
Judith read Law at King’s College London for 3 years before graduating with honours in 1998. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and a training contract before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001. She was previously employed by a City Law firm, practising in Commercial Law. Judith joined the Ombudsman in 2011 and now specialises in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Since her appointment, she written and presented a wide variety of accredited training courses on Consumer Law and Compliance tailored to the sectors within which the Ombudsman operates. Judith is a regular speaker at industry and ombudsman conferences and events. Judith is the current Chair of the Ombudsman Association Policy Network and serves as a member of the Civil Justice Council’s ADR Liaison Panel. She has written extensively on ADR and consumer issues and the co-author of the due to be published Ombudsman content for Atkins Court Forms.
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I thought the programme was spot on, focussed, bite sized and held my attention throughout. Excellent.