The Council

Dame Janet Paraskeva

Lay Chair of the Council

Dame Janet was Chief Executive of the Law Society from 2000 to 2006, preparing it for the advent of the Legal Services Act 2007 by establishing the separate regulatory functions for the SRA and the OLC from its representative functions.

She has since served as First Civil Service Commissioner, been an independent member of the Consumer Council for Water, a non-executive director of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Chair of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and is currently Chair of the Appointments Commission for the States of Jersey and of the Standards and regulation Board for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). She also serves a  a trustee of the charity Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA)

Dame Janet was made a Privy Councillor to assist in her role as a member of the Detainee Inquiry established by the Prime Minister in 2010.

Alan Cogbill

Lay Member of the Council

Alan spent 35 years in Whitehall, holding senior policy, operational, finance and strategy roles in various government departments. As its first chief executive he led the set-up and operation of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, a small public body.

He is a trustee and audit committee chair of Avenues, a not for profit body which supports people living with disabilities, illness or injuries. He is a senior research associate at UCL Constitution Unit and a member of the Wales Governance Centre’s advisory board.

Colin Wilby

Lay Member of the Council

Colin Wilby worked for over 27 years in the private business sector and over the last 10 years has served on a number of Non-executive Boards with public or social organisations. Colin has non-executive experience in a number of sectors including in regulatory and professional bodies as well as being a lay/independent panel member representing the public/consumer perspective.

Colin’s current and past experience includes:

Chairman, West Kent Housing Association
Non-Executive Director – Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Kent Probation Trust, Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education
Lay Member: Employment Tribunals, Bar Disciplinary Tribunals, Financial Reporting Council Disciplinary Tribunals
Colin has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development for 35 years and was appointed Fellow in 2008.

Jenny Quirke

Lay Member of the Council

Jenny is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and qualified in 2001 whilst working for Zurich Insurance.  She has held senior finance and risk roles with financial services organisations, including Santander and Nationwide.

Jenny is Chair of the Audit Committee for The Vernon Building Society and also holds a Non-Executive Director position on a voluntary basis for British Showjumping.  She also has a role on the Disciplinary Committee for CIMA and has a small consultancy business.

Milton James

Lay Member of the Council

Milton has extensive experience within private, public and not for profit organisations in Utilities, Insurance, Investment Banking, Financial and Information Services coupled with a Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Specialising in information management, operational management and digital technology holding senior positions at Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Reuters, Nominet and comparethemarket.com.

Most recently he held the position of Information Management and Technology Director at Ofgem the UK energy regulator creating and delivering their digital strategy.

Milton previously held a Non Executive Director position at Notting Hill Housing Group one of the largest housing associations in London and the south-east.

Sally Szarka

Professional Member of the Council

Sally is a solicitor with an in-depth understanding of compliance having previously owned and operated her own firm, and having subsequently been compliance officer and legal director at other firms of varying sizes and disciplines. . She has also been UK Legal Learning Manager at a leading global law firm where she was able to extend her knowledge of learning and development within a law firm environment. In practice, her specialisms are property (both commercial and residential) and private client.

Sarah Debney

Professional Member of the Council

Sarah has been in residential conveyancing in a variety of roles for law firms large and small over the last 30+ years and has been a qualified lawyer since 1995. Sarah now works for the UK’s largest specialist conveyancing firm heading up the operational quality and compliance team taking a proactive approach and finding practical, compliant solutions to the various challenges faced by all lawyers working in this fast paced discipline which is of such importance to so many consumers and to the economy.

Sarah Ryan

Professional Member of the Council

Sarah is a qualified Licensed Conveyancer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Sarah has worked in the legal sector, volume and smaller practices for over 30 years focusing on strategy, operational performance and risk management.

Sarah has been Chair and Member of the Strategic Risk Management Committee for CILEX and in her spare time is also a Magistrate.

Sarah is a champion of change, more recently she has set up her own law firm to challenge the way in which conveyancing is provided to the consumer.

Victoria MacGregor

Lay Member of the Council

Victoria is Director of Network Strategy and Standards at Citizens Advice, overseeing the governance and quality assurance standards of the advice services delivered annually to over 2.4 million people by the charity’s network of 259 local offices across England and Wales. Previously at Citizens Advice she led the organisation’s statutory energy consumer advocacy work securing a number of positive changes to policy and regulation on behalf of energy customers. 

Prior to joining Citizens Advice she was Chief Executive at Dacorum Citizens Advice and Head of Public Affairs at EDF Energy for 12 years, where she led the company’s political engagement and influencing work.  Victoria has also worked at the Independent Healthcare Association and Grey Advertising. Her Non-Executive Director experience includes Smart Energy GB and Rebel Energy. 

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