Further to her appearance before the Justice Select Committee the Legal Services Board today confirms the appointment of Wanda Goldwag to the post of Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints.
Ms. Goldwag, whose appointment has also been approved by the Lord Chancellor, will start a three year term as Chair on 1 April 2017.
Commenting on the appointment, Sir Michael Pitt, LSB Chairman said: “Following her appearance before the House of Common’s Justice Committee I am pleased to confirm Wanda Goldwag’s appointment as Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC).The Legal Ombudsman, the Board of which is the OLC, makes a real difference for consumers of legal services in England and Wales and with Wanda’s guidance this will continue to be the case.”
Chief Executive of the Legal Ombudsman, Nick Hawkins said: “I very much welcome this confirmation and appointment. I know the other members of the OLC and staff at the Legal Ombudsman are looking forward to meeting our new Chair and to working with her.”
- Wanda Goldwag, the preferred candidate for the Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints(OLC), appeared before a pre-appointment hearing of the Justice Select Committee on Wednesday 22 March.
- The Justice Select Committee concluded that “… Wanda Goldwag fully meets the criteria necessary to fulfil the role of Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints effectively, and we endorse her suitability for it.” The report of this hearing can be found here.
- Ms Goldwag has confirmed that as she has been appointed as OLC Chair she will be disposing of her share-holdings in MyHome Moveand Kings Court Trust as soon as it is practical.
- The Office for Legal Complaints (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.
- The Legal Services Act 2007(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.
- The LSB oversees nine approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1of 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 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants are listed as approved regulators in relation only to reserved probate activities.
- As at 1 April 2016, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 145,059 solicitors, 15,288 barristers, 6,848 chartered legal executives and 5,697 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £32 billion per annum (2015) which is up 23% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.