Appointment of the Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints Contents

Appendix B: Correspondence between Sir Mike Pitt, Chairman, Legal Services Board, and Robert Neill MP, Chair, Justice Committee on the recruitment process

Letter dated 17 October 2017 from Sir Mike Pitt, Chairman, Legal Services Board, to Robert Neill MP, Chair, Justice Committee

Recruitment of Chair of Office for Legal Complaints (OLC)

In accordance with Schedule 15 of the Legal Services Act 2007, the Legal Services Board (LSB) is responsible for appointing a chairman for the OLC, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor. This appointment is also subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by your Committee and so I am writing to you to inform you of the campaign and to seek your and the Committee’s views on the recruitment process before we advertise the role at the start of November.

The OLC is an independent body, established by the Legal Services Board and sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. Its role is to administer the Legal Ombudsman scheme, including to make its scheme rules, and to oversee that scheme’s performance.

A description of the role of OLC chairman is attached at Annex A and a proposed list of the essential criteria that we intend to look for in candidates is attached at Annex B.

Whilst the appointment is not covered by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the LSB will adhere to best practice in public appointments and has appointed Gatenby Sanderson to support the appointment process.

The selection panel for the appointment will consist of:

We also anticipate that a senior Ministry of Justice official will also form part of the panel.

The timetable for the campaign is being prepared and is provisionally scheduled as follows:

Diversity of opportunity is something I am passionate about and is a particular concern of my Board. Both the advertisement and candidate information packs for these campaigns will make clear that applications are particularly welcome from women and from those currently working in, or with experience of, the private sector. My Board does believe that this post does require previous Board level experience. The search consultants will also be briefed firmly to ensure that the widest possible pool of talent is sourced for this important appointment.

If you have any observations on the above plans I would welcome them. Also, if there is anyone you wish to be invited to apply for the role, could you please let me know in your response to this letter.

If you or your officials would like to discuss this appointment I would be happy to meet and to provide more information as required.

I would be grateful for your response by 28 October 2016.

Annex A – The role of the OLC chair

As Chair of the OLC, you will report to the Chair of the LSB and through the LSB to Parliament via an annual report laid before Parliament by the Lord Chancellor. The latest annual report, for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 is available here. As an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice, the OLC also has its own Accounting Officer and its own direct relationship with the Department and Ministers.

Overall objectives:

To lead the OLC Board in the effective administration of the ombudsman scheme for complaints about legal services and claims management providers in England and Wales. You will have a key role in developing approaches to ensure that complaints are dealt with efficiently and effectively.

On-going responsibilities:

As Chair of the OLC Board, you will have responsibility for:

Annex B

Essential criteria

Collectively, the OLC Board needs to be able to cover a wide range of experience.

For the role as Chair, the selection panel will be looking for evidence of an outstanding track record of Board level leadership within a substantial organisation. This may have been gained in the private, public or third sectors and enabled experience to be acquired in the following areas:

Skills and abilities

The following criteria will be explored further at interview. They need not be directly addressed in your written application:

Letter dated 25 October 2016 from Robert Neill MP, Chair, Justice Committee, to Sir Mike Pitt, Chairman, Legal Services Board

Thank you for your letter of 17 October consulting us on the proposed arrangements for the forthcoming recruitment of a new Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints.

My Committee considered your proposals at its meeting today and it has no comments on them. We hope the recruitment runs smoothly and we look forward to holding a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing in February or March next year. Please get in touch with our staff nearer the time to make arrangements for that hearing, and if there is any significant change in your timetable, please let us know.

23 March 2017