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Public appointment: chair and members reappointed to Scottish Legal Aid Board

Public appointments news release.

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The Minister for Community Safety, Ash Regan MSP, today announced the reappointments of Ray Macfarlane as Chair, and Sheriff John Morris QC, Brian Baverstock, Stephen Humphreys, Raymond McMenamin and Lesley Ward as Members of the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Chair

Ray Macfarlane graduated MA LLB MBA from the University of Glasgow and qualified as a solicitor working in private practice before joining Scottish Enterprise where she held several senior positions including Director of Legal Services before being appointed Managing Director in charge of all national and international divisions. She was a senior director of Bank of Scotland and in HBOS was Head of Group Community Investment. She has extensive board level experience in both the private and public sectors. Previous non-executive roles have included board membership of the Scottish Housing Regulator, BT Scotland and the Energy Saving Trust. She was chair of Scottish Screen and deputy chair of the Scottish Arts Council and of the National Galleries of Scotland. She is currently a trustee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and chairs its Scottish Committee. She is also chair of Museums Galleries Scotland, chairman of trustees of the Hopetoun House Foundation and a trustee of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Members

Sheriff John Morris QC has worked all his professional life in the law. He was first a solicitor, then an advocate and QC, and finally as a Sheriff and part time High Court Judge. He retired from full time work in 2017 but still works on a part time basis all over Scotland. He has been involved with legal aid throughout his career in one capacity or another.

Brian Baverstock is a qualified accountant and independent consultant specialising in public sector governance and risk management. Before consultancy, Brian had a long career in the public sector in Scotland, during which he has led a number of transformational change programmes, including being the founding chief executive of APUC Ltd, the procurement Centre of Expertise for Scotland’s universities and colleges. Brian has held a number of non-executive director roles in the public and voluntary sectors. He is currently on the board of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Stephen Humphreys is a former civil servant with 39 years’ experience of the justice system in both England and Wales and in Scotland, He is experienced in developing strategic and business plans, financial and performance management (including assessment and management of risk) and developing and implementing appropriate governance arrangements in organisations. He has been a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board since April 2018. In his career he was director of the Judicial Office for Scotland, chief executive of the Law Commission of England and Wales, and corporate secretary to the Lord Chancellor’s department. He was also responsible for the system of appointment to a range of judicial offices and led policy development for civil legal aid, legal aid remuneration, and the policy on the award of costs in civil proceedings in England and Wales.

Raymond McMenamin is a very experienced lawyer who trained in the Crown Office, was admitted as solicitor in 1983 and worked as a procurator fiscal depute in Linlithgow and Glasgow before going into private practice for over thirty years gaining experience in various areas of law. Specialising in Criminal Law, he became a solicitor advocate in 2000 (accredited senior solicitor advocate in 2011) and regularly conducted defences in the High Court of Justiciary until retiring from practice in 2018. He was a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Criminal Law Committee from 2004 to 2016. Appointed as part time Sheriff in 2007 and president of the part time Sheriffs’ Association from 2013 to 2016 whilst regularly sitting at courts throughout Scotland. He has been a member of the board of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission since 2017 and of the Scottish Legal Aid board since 2018.

Lesley Ward is an experienced solicitor and has been a member of the Law Society of Scotland since 1990. She started her career in family law working with mainly legally aided clients. She has been a tribunal chair since 2005 and currently sits in mental health, housing and social entitlement jurisdictions. She brings a wealth of experience to her work with SLAB and has been an active member of the board since 2017.

Appointment

Ray Macfarlane and Lesley Ward will be reappointed from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2024.

Sheriff John Morris QC, Brian Baverstock, Stephen Humphreys and Raymond McMenamin will be reappointed from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2026.

These reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The chair reappointment is part time and attracts a remuneration of £336.68 per day for a time commitment of two days per week.

The member reappointments are part time and attract a remuneration of £238.92 per day for a time commitment of 3.5 days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Raymond McMenamin is a board member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for which he receives £254 per day for a time commitment of three days per month.

Brian Baverstock is a board member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for which he receives £280 per day for a time commitment of five days per month.

Lesley Ward is a Legal Member of the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland – Housing and Property Chamber for which she receives £350 per day for a time commitment of three to eight days per month. She is also a Legal Convener of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland for which she receives £450 per day for a time commitment of two to six days per month. Ray Macfarlane, Sheriff John Morris QC and Stephen Humphreys do not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Ray Macfarlane, Sheriff John Morris QC, Brian Baverstock, Stephen Humphreys, Raymond McMenamin, Lesley Ward have had no political activity within the last five years.

Scottish Legal Aid Board

The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) was set up in 1987 to manage legal aid in Scotland and is a non-departmental public body responsible to the Scottish Government. Legal aid allows people who would otherwise not be able to afford it, to get help for their legal problems.

The Scottish Legal Aid Board’s work is overseen by board members, who are appointed by Scottish Ministers. The number of members can vary from 11 to 15. To give a balanced range of knowledge and experience, they include people with backgrounds in business, the advice sector and the wider community as well as solicitors and advocates and a person with knowledge of court procedure and practice.

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