Chair, Office for Legal Complaints (OLC)

Body: Legal Services Board
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The annual remuneration will be £52,500
Time Requirements: Minimum of 60 days’ work a year across the period of appointment

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    04/12/2019 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Role of 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 2018 to 31 March 2019 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 service 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:

  • the strategic direction of the OLC and ensuring that the organisation is fulfilling its statutory duty as an ombudsman scheme against a background of good governance, evidence-based decision-making, proportionate interventions, cost-effective use of resources and the successful performance of the ombudsman scheme against agreed performance targets;
  • leading liaison with the Chair of LSB and the Ministry of Justice with regard to setting performance standards, monitoring and reporting protocols, ensuring effectiveness and efficiency and agreeing on-going reporting arrangements as required;
  • protecting the independence of the Ombudsman in relation to the decisions taken;
  • appointing the Chief Ombudsman and any other Ombudsman, as appropriate;
  • setting the right culture for the organisation;
  • keeping under review and proposing any changes to the rules and policy statements governing the way the ombudsman scheme operates;
  • following the procedures governing the relationship between the OLC and the approved regulators and licensing authorities;
  • maintaining trust and confidence in the OLC with key stakeholders;
  • acting as an ambassador for the OLC and the ombudsman scheme, promoting and publicising its role by representing it externally in delivering speeches and contributing to debates at conferences and in committees;
  • ensuring compliance with the general guidelines laid down by government relating to public bodies and ensuring that OLC fulfils any statutory or administrative requirements relating to financial accountability;
  • working effectively with the Chief Ombudsman, non-executive members and staff team to provide strong leadership to the OLC to ensure it adheres to the principles of good governance and to ensure proper accounts are kept.

Person Specification

Your application will be assessed on the basis of the evidence you provide. This evidence should include specific examples of proven experience against the selection criteria listed under Experience and knowledge. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those applicants invited for interview, together with the criteria listed under Skills and abilities.


Experience and knowledge

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

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

  • Proven track record in – and focus on – delivering improvements in customer satisfaction and redress;
  • Improving an organisation’s performance through the use and development of technology, such as sophisticated case management systems;
  • Setting an organisation’s strategy;
  • Challenging, guiding, supporting and holding to account an executive team for its performance;
  • Commitment to people and creating a culture of positive productivity;
  • Building constructive relationships and productive partnerships with a wide variety of key stakeholders;
  • Representing an organisation to a wide range of external audiences and being publicly accountable for its activities;
  • Working with Government, regulators and other influential institutions;
  • Feeding back learning to support change;
  • Sound understanding of corporate governance, including experience of financial management (establishing budgets and monitoring and managing spend).

Expertise in a range of areas relevant to the OLC’s work, including consumer affairs, customer operations, legal services provision, complaints handling and ombudsman schemes would also be valuable.

Skills and abilities

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

  • Excellent communication, influencing, and relationship management skills, including the ability to motivate people;
  • Commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity;
  • Willingness to take a stand;
  • Strong intellect and sound judgment;
  • Politically ‘savvy’;
  • High level of credibility, probity and integrity;
  • Good understanding of the purposes of the OLC, its opportunities and challenges;
  • Working style and suitability for non-executive work


The Chair of the OLC must be a lay person in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007. As part of the application process, you will be asked to confirm that you meet the lay requirements.

A lay person is a person who is not and has never been:

  1. An authorised person in relation to an activity which is a reserved legal activity. For these purposes the following are authorised people:
    • a barrister;
    • a solicitor;
    • a public notary;
    • a licensed conveyancer;
    • a person granted a certificate issued by the Institute of Legal Executives authorising the person to practise as a legal executive;
    • a registered patent attorney, within the meaning given by section 275(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48);
    • a registered trade mark attorney, within the meaning of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (c. 26); or
    • a person granted a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation in relation to any proceedings by virtue of section 27(2) (a) or section 28(2)(a) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c.41) (rights of audience and rights of litigation);
  2. an authorised person (within the meaning given in section 31 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (authorised persons)) in relation to regulated claims management activity (within the meaning given by section 417(1) of that Act (definitions));
  3. an advocate in Scotland;
  4. a solicitor in Scotland;
  5. a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland;
  6. a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.

Further advice about eligibility for appointment can be sought by contacting, Patrick Reihill at The Whitehall & Industry Group on 0207 222 1166 /

OLC Chair Information Pack
Reference Request form - Sept 2019
Diversity monitoring form Sept 2019
Conflict of Interest - Sept 2019
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