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.

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.

Andrea Pierce

Professional Member of the Council

Andrea is Director of Legal Services at Kings Court Trust Ltd, a large provider of probate and estate administration based in Bristol. Before joining Kings Court Trust in 2006, Andrea worked as a solicitor focused on private client work.

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.

Heather Foster

Lay Member of the Council

Heather is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, she qualified in 1982 whilst working for an international electronics group. Her work with them included assignments in the USA, Italy and France. Following this, she joined the Ministry of Defence and then the Inland Revenue.

Heather went on to become Finance Director at the Land Registry; during that time she graduated with an Honours degree in Law in 1997 and completed her Legal Practice Course in 2002. She left the Land Registry in 2013.

She has been a lay member of the CLC’s Council and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee since 2014. Heather is also an accredited commercial and workplace mediator through CEDR and a trained family mediator through National Family Mediation. She has a consultancy business and is a volunteer with two local charities in Sussex.

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.

Teresa Perchard

Lay Member of the Council

Teresa has a background in regulation, consumer protection and consumer affairs. She was Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice for 13 years until June 2013. Prior to that Teresa held senior policy roles with the Office of Rail Regulation, Office of Water Services and the National Consumer Council.

Teresa’s non-executive portfolio includes being a board member of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation; Consumer Champion for the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency and Chair of the Affinity Water Customer Scrutiny Group. She is a Trustee of the Fairbanking Foundation.

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.

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