Wanda Goldwag – a marketing specialist turned regulator with a connection to two high-profile alternative business structures (ABSs) – has been named as the Legal Services Board’s preferred candidate to chair the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC), the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
By law, the post has to be held by a non-lawyer. Ms Goldwag, whose selection after an open competition has also been approved by the Lord Chancellor, will appear next Wednesday before the justice select committee for pre-appointment scrutiny.
She would succeed former chief constable Steve Green, whose term of office ends on 31 March after a turbulent period that saw the organisation’s accounts qualified over irregular payments to staff and a dispute that led to the departure of the original chief executive and chief legal ombudsman.
Ms Goldwag had a 25-year career in marketing and her last corporate role was as managing director of British Airways-owned Air Miles, having previously worked for the likes of Thomas Cook and Yves Rocher.
Since then she has had a series of non-executive and regulatory roles, including at the Performing Right Society, as a Postcomm Commissioner and, until March 2017, as a Civil Service Commissioner.
She is an adviser to Smedvig Venture Capital, a company that is invested in both MyHome Move – which owns Premier Property Lawyers, the first ABS to be licensed in England and Wales – and Kings Court Trust, a leading probate provider that entered regulation as an ABS licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyacers.
Ms Goldwag has held the role since 2000, and Smedvig’s website says her role is varied: “She acts as an advisor in the investment decision process, mentors senior portfolio company staff and retains board seats.”
She is also chair and independent standards commissioner of the Senet Group, the body set up to self-regulate the gambling industry, non-executive chair of True North Human Capital and a lay member of the QC appointments panel.
Board chairman Sir Michael Pitt said: “Wanda will bring essential skills and extensive experience to the OLC and subject to the report of the justice select committee, be in a position to contribute immediately and significantly to the work of the Legal Ombudsman.
“I would also like to thank Steve Green for the commitment and dedication he has shown to the Legal Ombudsman during his term in office.”