The Which? Council Who's who on the Which? Council
The current make up of the Council is as follows:
- Chairman: Patrick Barwise
- Deputy Chair: Jennifer Oscroft
- Other members: Mark Addison, Dan Bogler, Tony Burton, Jeanie Cruickshank, Sharon Darcy, Harriet Kimbell, Peter Shears, Anna Walker, Tony Ward, Chris Willett.
Patrick ‘Paddy’ Barwise, Chairman
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 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 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
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.
Jeanie was elected to the Council in January 2015 and is a former member of the Senior Civil Service from 1998 to 2014, latterly as Head of Better Regulation in the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
In her roles in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (2008-2014), she worked with Which? staff, Ofgem and energy industry representatives on reviews of energy regulation. Jeanie served on the Boards of the Carbon Trust and of the Energy Technologies Institute (2008-2011), where she had a particular focus on supporting innovative new technologies and getting them to market.
In a previous role in Cabinet Office (2006-2008) Jeanie worked to promote water competition, in order that consumers could have more choice and so innovation could flourish. She also worked in the telecoms company O2 (2004-5), on secondment from the Civil Service, strengthening their links with the Ofcom Consumer Panel. Jeanie also has a long experience as a policy-maker and regulator in a number of Government Departments.
Sharon was elected to the Council in January 2015.
For the last 14 years she has had a portfolio career of board roles and consultancy work, largely in the utilities, and is currently a Trustee of the new workplace pension provider NEST where she chairs the Risk Committee. Since 2012, Sharon has been a Lay Member of the Standards Committee in the House of Commons.
Sharon has spent a large part of her career in the consumer movement, including working at Consumers International, the world consumer groups federation that is the only independent global voice for consumers. She was previously at Which? (1996 to 2000) before joining the board of Energywatch from 2000 to 2008. Sharon subsequently moved to the board of the reconstituted National Consumer Council, firstly called Consumer Focus and then named Consumer Futures (2008-2014), which incorporated the work of Energywatch.
Between 2007-2011, she was on the board of an NHS Primary Care Trust, between 2006-2013 was a Non-Exec of a large housing association and from 2007-2009 was a Consumer Director at TrustMark.
Sharon is a champion of consumer concerns in energy and water. For the last five years, she has been a member of Ofgem’s ‘Consumer Challenge Group’ (ensuring that the consumer interest is represented in setting prices for monopoly energy businesses). Since 2011, she has also been part of Ofwat’s Customer Advisory Panel, advising the regulator on water prices. A qualified accountant, she began her career working on value for money studies for the regulation team at the National Audit Office.
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 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.
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 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 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).
He was appointed to the Council in January 2014. Currently works as a University Professor at University of Essex.
He was a professor and lecturer of Consumer Law (1988-2011) - teaching, researching and publishing on all aspects of consumer law and policy (including unfair terms and practices, defective and unsafe goods and services, food law, financial services, digital services, consumer credit, utility services etc).
Adviser to government (Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills), European Commission and other bodies on law and policy development.
Previously worked for Which? as editor of section giving advice in response to consumer letters/problems.
He has experience in providing advice, consultancy training and public speaking.
He has worked on all aspects of consumer law and policy for 27 years: teaching, researching, advising and working with government and international bodies on law reform. Importantly, his work has always been strongly influenced by empirical studies as to how the law is or is not working in practice.