The Chair and Commissioners are appointed by the Lord Chancellor in accordance with the Access to Justice Act 1999.
The individual appointments/reappointments have been made from the expiry of the current appointments as follows:
- Sir Bill Callaghan has been reappointed for a second term of two years to 31 August 2013
- Barry Elliott has been reappointed for a second term of two years from 1 June 2011 to 31 May 2013
- Tom Jones’ existing appointment has been extended for one year to 28 February 2013
- Julian Lee has been reappointed for a second term of two years to 31 October 2013
- Beryl Seaman’s existing appointment has been extended by two years to 30 June 2013
- Dr David Wolfe’s existing appointment has been extended for one year to 30 September 2013.
All of the appointments will terminate on the abolition of the LSC if that occurs before the end of the revised terms.
Appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, who, as required under the Code, has approved the appointment extensions for Beryl Seaman, Tom Jones and Dr David Wolfe (who are all serving a second term of appointment).
Notes for editors
- The Chair is remunerated at a rate of £54,000 per year for a minimum of 60 days per year. Commissioners are paid a daily rate of £359.80. David Wolfe and Julian Lee spend a minimum of 30 days per year on Commission work whilst Barry Elliott, Tom Jones and Beryl Seaman spend a minimum of 60 days per year, dependent on their individual responsibilities.
- The LSC is an executive Non Departmental Body (NDPB) established under the Access to Justice Act 1999. The Commission is responsible for the administration of legal aid in England and Wales through the Community Legal Service and the Criminal Defence Service.
- The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which had its first reading on 21 June, provides for the abolition of the LSC and the vesting of responsibility for the administration of legal aid with the Lord Chancellor. A statutory office holder will be created with responsibility for all legal aid funding decisions.
- An executive agency will be established within the Ministry of Justice to administer legal aid.
- The move to abolish the LSC and establish an executive agency will ensure greater accountability for ministers in terms of financial management. An executive agency is a more flexible administrative model than an NDPB and brings opportunities for shared services intended to realise savings in administration. Subject to the passage of legislation, current planning assumes that the new agency will be established from 1 October 2012.
- The proposal was originally made by the previous Government and the Coalition Government agrees that it is a sensible reform.
Biographical details of the Commissioners.