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Board of commissioners

Commissioners June 2017

Our Commissioners are appointed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. They provide experience and knowledge from a wide range of sectors and industries to help us ensure the licensing objectives are met.

Bill Moyes (Chairman)

Bill Moyes
Having completed a PhD in theoretical chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, Bill Moyes entered the fast-stream of the UK Civil Service in 1974. His 20-year career in the Civil Service was spent mainly in policy-making roles in Whitehall and in the Scottish Office.

After leaving the Civil Service, he spent six years in the Bank of Scotland Group. In 2000 he became Director-General of the British Retail Consortium, the representative body for the retail sector. Between 2004 and 2010 he was the founding executive chairman of The Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts (Monitor), which authorises foundation trusts and regulates their finances and governance.

He currently chairs the General Dental Council and is Chair of the Board of St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh, a member of the Board of the Albertus Institute and a trustee of the Catholic Trust of England and Wales.

Previous roles have included non-executive directorships with the Priory Hospital Group, the Legal Services Board and the Office of Fair Trading, the Chairmanship of the Board of Governors of Heythrop College, a constituent college of the University of London and of SERCO's Clinical Governance Committee.

Sarah Harrison MBE (Chief Executive)

Sarah Harrison
Sarah became Chief Executive on 1 October 2015. She was a Senior Partner at Ofgem where she led the Sustainable Development Division. Previously she was Managing Director of Corporate Affairs at Ofgem and before that, Communications Director. Before joining Ofgem in 2000 Sarah was the first Chief Executive of ICSTIS, the UK industry regulator for premium rate telephone services. Her earlier career was in government and public relations consultancy.

She was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to consumer protection.

John Baillie 

John Baillie
John Baillie is a Chartered Accountant and a former partner of KPMG in Scotland and London.

He is immediate past chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, the Scottish local authority watchdog and served two three-year terms. He was also a member of the Reporting Panel of the UK Competition and Markets Authority for nine years.

John is a visiting professor of accountancy at the University of Edinburgh and has previously held similar appointments at other Scottish universities. 

Stephen Cohen 

Stephen Cohen
Stephen has worked in the financial industry for over 35 years in London, New York and Tokyo.

He has served on multiple boards and has focussed latterly on governance and engagement including being CEO of an activist asset manager.

In addition, he is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council; he has chaired a financial technology business, and acted as advisor to the UK's leading independent technology research business. He was a trustee of the Beacon Charitable Trust for ten years gaining wide experience of best practice in the third sector. Stephen lives in London and studied Physiology at University College, Oxford.

Alison Hastings

Alison Hastings
Alison Hastings is a non-executive Director and Vice President of the British Board of Film Classification, a non-executive Director of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, a non-executive Director of Archant, a privately-owned media company, a Board Member of Durham University, a Board Member of the Press Association Trust and a member of the Sharing Economy Expert Advisory Panel.

Until recently she was the BBC Trustee for England and was formerly a Press Complaints Commissioner.

Walter Merricks CBE

Walter Merricks
Walter Merricks qualified as a solicitor. He chairs the boards of IMPRESS the independent monitor for the press, and JUSTICE the law reform charity.

He was the inaugural Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service leading the organisation for ten years, and subsequently served on the board of Ombudsman Services, the dispute resolver for the telecoms, energy and property sectors.

He is Service Complaint Reviewer for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and was previously Reviewer for the Legal Ombudsman.

He was awarded the CBE in 2007 for his contribution to financial services.

Sarika Patel 

Sarika Patel
Sarika Patel is a business leader with over 25 years blending of public and private organisational experience.

She is a qualified chartered accountant and also a graduate in law.

Sarika is a partner at Zeus Capital leading cross-border transactions focused on infrastructure, real estate and technology sectors. She is currently vice chair of Centrepoint, a leading charity aimed at supporting homeless young people. Sarika is also a Trustee of the Royal Institution where she chairs the audit committee. She is on the Board of Imperial Healthcare Trust where she is a member of the audit, risk and governance committee and the remuneration committee.

Trevor Pearce CBE QPM

Trevor Pearce
Trevor Pearce spent 40 years in law enforcement during which time he was Director General of both the National Crime Squad and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

He has experience in senior public sector management, and leadership in dealing with serious crime having particular knowledge around intelligence processes and investigative procedures. 

Simone Pennie 

Simone Pennie
Having qualified as a chartered accountant in 1991, Simone Pennie spent 18 months with KPMG in Toronto before joining P&O Nedlloyd in 1994.

She subsequently joined BBC Worldwide in 1996 and became Finance Director of BBC World News in 2005. Since 2011 Simone has maintained a portfolio career including Chair of the Audit Committee and Non Executive Director for Wye Valley NHS Trust, Independent Risk & Audit Committee member for Ofcom, Governor for Westonbirt Schools and Independent member of the inaugural Audit & Assurance Board for the National Police Chiefs Council. Simone is currently a co-opted member for the Audit Committee at the University of Bath and Clerk to the Minchinhampton Commoners Committee.

Jonathan Scott

Jonathan Scott
Jonathan Scott retired as Senior Partner and Chair of Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading global law firm, in 2015 and continues to be a consultant to the firm. 

He has extensive high level experience of competition law including in the gambling sector, having advised on mergers within the industry, and on governance and regulation. He is a non-executive director of the Competition Markets Authority, member of the audit committee of Cambridge University Press and a trustee of two charities.

Catharine Seddon 

Catharine Seddon
After many years as a film documentary maker for BBC TV and then as an independent producer for Channel 4, Catharine Seddon began working for the judiciary in 2002.

She now sits on tribunals in the jurisdictions of social security, employment and mental health; she is a presiding magistrate in the City of Westminster and she sits as a Lay Assessor under the Equality Act in county court cases.  Her national public appointments include Audit and Risk Assessment Committee (ARAC) chair and member of the Human Tissue Authority and member of the Determinations Panel of The Pensions Regulator. She is also a trustee for the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy.