The Which? Council Who's who on the Which? Council

The current make up of the Council is as follows:

Council members

  • Chairman: Patrick Barwise
  • Deputy chairmen: Jennifer Oscroft, Paul Preston
  • Other members: Mark Addison, Dan Bogler, Tony Burton, Jeanie Cruickshank, Sharon Darcy, Melanie Dawes, Harriet Kimbell, Peter Shears, Anna Walker, Tony Ward, Chris Willett.

Patrick ‘Paddy’ Barwise, Chairman

Patrick Barwise

Patrick was co-opted to the Council in January 2006, having previously served on it from 1995 to 2001, including three years as Deputy Chairman. He is emeritus professor of management and marketing at London Business School, which he joined in 1976 after an early career in IBM.

He has held a range of management roles at the School and published and consulted on a wide range of topics in management, marketing and the media. Patrick is a Council member of the Investment Committee.

Mark Addison

Addison Mark

Mark was co-opted to Council from 1 March 2010. Mark was, until 2006, a career civil servant.

He joined the Department of Employment in 1978 and subsequently worked in a number of central government departments, and in a range of operational and policy roles, including spells as the Safety Policy Director in the Health and Safety Executive, as the Director of the Better Regulation Unit at the Cabinet Office and as the Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service.

From 2001, Mark was at Defra as the Director General of Operations and Service Delivery. He was Acting Permanent secretary for a short period in 2005 and took over as the Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive on a temporary basis when the farm payments crisis broke in March 2006.

Since he left the Civil Service in 2006 Mark has been a Civil Service Commissioner, a member of the Salix Finance Board (which works to deliver carbon reduction projects in the public sector) and a Non Executive Director of the National Archives. He is currently the Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, is a Public Appointments Assessor, is a member of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointment and is also a visiting professor at the Cass Business School.

Dan Bogler

Dan Bogler was co-opted to Council on 1 November 2012, having previously served on Council from February 2009 to March 2010 and on the Which? Ltd Board from October 2007 to March 2010.

Dan works as President and Editor of Medley Global Advisers (a small macro-economic consultancy).  Prior to that he was Managing Editor of the Financial Times from 2006 to 2010. He worked as a financial journalist at the FT from 1995 to 2010, working with them in London, New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. He also had two short spells at different investment banks and worked for the Daily Telegraph before joining the FT.

Anthony Burton OBE

Tony Burton

He was appointed to the Council in November 2014. Currently Managing Editor of Scottish Planning and Environmental Law, published by IDOX plc, Secretary; of the Planning Exchange Foundation, Board Member of Scottish Opera and Chairman of the Friends of Scottish Opera.

Tony was a Which? Council Member 1984 to 2010, Deputy Chairman of Which? Limited  from 2006 to 2010, a Board Member of National Consumer Council from 1986 to 1994, a Board Member of Scottish Consumer Council from 1979 to 1983 and a Member Consumers’ Consultative Committee of the European Union from 1990 to 1994.

In addition, Tony was Chief Executive; The Planning Exchange, a research and information organisation from 1980 to 2002, Board Member; The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City from 2006 to 2009, a Director of IDOX Information Services Ltd from 2002 to 2011 and Chairman of CA Pension Fund Trustees Member and member of the UK Ecolabelling Board from 1995 to 1999.

Melanie Dawes

Melanie Dawes

Melanie was co-opted to Council in March 2011. She was appointed Director General Business Tax at HMRC in March 2009 (her present role). She is accountable for all of the department’s results for business customers. Her Executive Committee portfolio includes Business Customer Unit, Business International, Large Business Service, Corporation Tax and VAT, Anti-Avoidance Group and Excise, Customs, Stamps and Money.

Previously, Melanie was Director of Large Business Service (LBS), which manages HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) relationships with the largest companies, partnerships and employers in the UK. Prior to joining HMRC, Melanie spent 15 years at HM Treasury, most recently as Europe Director where she led the Treasury’s contribution to the UK Presidency of the EU in 2005 and was involved in various international tax, financial and budgetary negotiations.

She started her career as an economist and has also worked on public spending, tax and tax credit policy, monetary policy and the euro. She coordinated the first Treasury assessment against the Five Tests for UK membership of the single currency in 1997.

Harriet Kimbell MBE

Harriet was elected to Council from 1 February 2013.  She is currently associate Professor at the College of Law of England & Wales teaching professional skills to prospective lawyers.

She was a member of Council from 1988-2004 and Deputy Chairman 1990-1993 & 1994-2000.

Harriet served on a number of government committees as the consumer representative for Which? or as an independent member; including the MAFF Consumer Panel (for which she was awarded an MBE), the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) (advising the government on BSE) 1998-2004, the Woolf Committee – drafting the new civil procedure rules for courts in England and Wales 1997-2000 and the Nutrition Task Force 1992-1995.

She specialised in litigation in the City 1978-1984 and is a qualified mediator.  She also appears in court for free, for clients who have no funds to pay a lawyer.

Jennifer Oscroft, Deputy Chairman

Jenny Oscroft

Jenny was first elected to the Council on 1st February 2011 and re-elected on 20th January 2014.  Jenny was a Pension Trustee at Which? until September 2013 and has been Deputy Chairman since March 2013.

Jenny is a practising Barrister with a Masters in Law, specialising in Public law and judicial review, social housing & homelessness, adult & child social care, planning and immigration law.  The main focus of Jenny’s work is at the interface between local / central government and the citizen.   Jenny also works as a consultant with the Centre for Constitutional Rights in Europe, a non-profit legal and charitable organisation which works on issues such as illegal detention and abuse of government power.

Paul Preston, Deputy Chairman

Paul Preston

Paul was co-opted to the Council in February 2009. He was, until late 2009, Senior Vice President (SVP) (HR Strategy) at Unilever from 2007, developing the company’s Human Capital Strategy 2010-2015. Prior to this, Paul held various other posts within Unilever, including SVP for Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey, and Chairman in Portugal. He was also key in the establishment and building of the company’s business in China.

Since Paul's retirement from Unilever, he acts as a school governor in a Special Needs School and holds a number of advisory positions in businesses in Europe.


Peter Shears

Peter Shears

Peter joined the Council on 7 February 2012 as an elected member. He is currently Professor of Consumer Law and Policy, Plymouth Law School, Plymouth University. 

He has held a number of consumer-related appointments, namely, National Consumer Federation Legislation Committee (since 1981), Consumer Support Networks and Consumer Direct National Support Team  (2001- 05), and Plymouth Consumer Group, President. He also worked with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers from 1997 to 2010. 

Peter has also had an extensive broadcasting career: BBC Radio 4: 'Face the Facts', 'You & Yours', 'Law in Action'; BBC Local Radio: Devon: Consumer commentator & "phone-in expert" (1983-2010), same for Sheffield (since 2002); commentator: BBC Wales, Somerset, Kent, Humberside, Cornwall & Guernsey. BBC 1: 'Really Useful Show' (1996-98); BBC South West (since 1990): 'Spotlight' and all other regional programmes.

Anna Walker

Anna Walker

Anna Walker was co-opted to the Council on 1st November 2013. She is currently Chair of Office of Rail Regulation.

She was Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission from 2004-2009, the then regulatory body for the NHS and private sector healthcare. She has wide-ranging experience in regulation and performance improvement. Anna was Director General responsible for rural policy at Defra from 2001 to 2004, Director General of Energy at the Department of Trade and Industry from 1998 to 2001 and Deputy Director General, Office of Telecommunications from 1995-1998. In 2008/9 she led an independent review for government into household water charging.

She is also Chair of Young Epilepsy (a charity providing healthcare, education and support for young people with epilepsy), and on the Board of Welsh Water.

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

Tony was first co-opted to the Council on 1 September 2011. 

He has held a number of non-executive Director appointments and was most recently employed at BAA PLC 1997-2007 as Services Director responsible for IT, Airside Operations and Health and Safety. Prior to that he was Group Human Resources Director there and Chairman of the Pension Fund Trustee Board, until 2007. 

Prior to BAA he worked for Kingfisher PLC as Group Human Resources Director (1992- 1997). 

Chris Willett

Background information to follow