Two new appointments and one extension to the Legal Services Board

20 Jul 2020 02:51 PM

The Lord Chancellor has announced the appointment of Flora Page and Stephen Gowland as new non-lay members of the Legal Services Board (LSB) for 4 year terms with effect from 1 August 2020 until 31 July 2024.

The Lord Chancellor has also announced an extension to Marina Gibbs’ tenure as lay member of the LSB until 31 March 2021 while a recruitment campaign is carried out to fill the position on a permanent basis. Flora Page has been both a solicitor and a barrister. She started her career at Clifford Chance in 1996, and subsequently worked for the Law Commission, the University of Law, and set up her own firm, Old Bailey Solicitors. Having obtained higher rights of audience in 2002, in 2013 she cross-qualified as a barrister, and joined 23 Essex Street Chambers. Her practice focused on financial crime, and she prosecuted and defended in equal amounts. She was a leading junior, a Grade 4 Prosecutor, and a facilitator for Advocacy and the Vulnerable training.

In 2019, Flora moved to the Financial Conduct Authority, where she has worked in both enforcement and consumer redress policy development. She is also a part-time PhD student at University College London, researching corporate misconduct. She was a long-serving committee member of the Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates, and then a member of the Executive of the Criminal Bar Association. She was on the 23 Essex Street Equality and Diversity Committee, and is a Financial Conduct Authority Equality and Diversity Superuser.

Stephen Gowland was the 50th national President of Cilex (The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) and the first who also qualified as a solicitor. He spent ten years on the Cilex board. He started his career as an apprentice and qualified as a lawyer whilst working full time. He was the first Cilex apprentice to sit on the Cilex board and has championed apprenticeships throughout his career. He has worked in various law firms dealing with general civil litigation which included dealing with civil actions against the police and sexual abuse claims. He ran his own successful high street firm for twelve years before moving on to pursue other opportunities.

Stephen now works in-house and sits as a police misconduct judge for seventeen police forces across England and Wales. He also works as an associate with the College of Policing assisting them with recruitment and promotion for UK police forces. He has an interest in regulation in various sectors and sits as a lay member on the regulatory panels of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. He will be resigning his position with the ICAEW in order to take up his role with the LSB.

Marina Gibbs has been Director of Competition Policy at Ofcom since September 2007 where she leads Ofcom’s policy work in relation to the postal sector as well as focusing on competition matters in the telecommunications market.

Prior to joining Ofcom, Marina worked as a strategy consultant for many years, latterly as Telecoms Partner at Spectrum Value Partners where she advised clients internationally in relation to corporate and commercial strategy development and regulatory and public policy matters. Marina also provided commercial due diligence support to financial and trade investors in the telecoms and media sectors.

The LSB is the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales. The LSB came into being on 1 January 2009 and took on the majority of its statutory powers on 1 January 2010. Its goal is to reform and modernise the legal services market place by putting the interests of consumers at the heart of the system. It is independent of government and the legal profession and oversees the approved regulators, which themselves regulate lawyers practising throughout the jurisdiction.

LSB also oversees the Office for Legal Complaints and its administration of the Legal Ombudsman scheme that resolves complaints about lawyers.

These appointments have been conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Appointments to the LSB are made by the Lord Chancellor in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales.