News Release

SRA Board appointments

We have announced five new appointments to the Board.

The new members of the Board are Sharon Darcy, Barry Matthews, Geoff Nicholas, Dame Denise Platt and Deep Sagar.

SRA chair, Enid Rowlands, said "I'm delighted to announce that we have five such distinguished appointees joining our Board in the New Year. They will bring a wealth of insight, experience and expertise and I am looking forward to working with them to protect the public and set the standards for solicitors, as we reform our regulatory model."

Sharon Darcy, Dame Denise Platt and Deep Sagar will take up positions as lay members of the Board and Barry Matthews and Geoff Nicholas will be solicitor members. The new appointees will formally take up post in January 2016, with five current members of the Board reaching the end of their terms at the end of December.

The outgoing Board members are Graham Chisnall, Martin Coleman, Bill Galvin, Cindy Leslie and Peter Phippen.


Note to editors

Sharon Darcy

Sharon is a Council member of Which? and was formerly a long-standing board member of Consumer Futures. She is a member of the UK Regulators Network Expert Advisors Panel and is one of the first lay members to be appointed to the House of Commons Committee on Standards. Sharon is presently a Trustee of the new workplace pension provider NEST, where she chairs the Risk Committee. With significant experience of consumer issues in the utilities sector, Sharon is an associate at think tank Sustainability First, where she has established a New Energy and Water Public Interest Network. For the last five years, she has been a member of Ofgem’s Expert Panel for its network innovation competitions. A qualified accountant, Sharon began her career working on value-for-money studies in the privatisation and regulation team at the National Audit Office. She was previously Chair of Sutton Citizens Advice Bureau.

Barry Matthews

Barry trained and qualified in the Trade Law team at Hogan Lovells, specialising in sport and media. He then moved in-house joining ITV and has held various management roles the latest being Director of Legal Affairs and Third Party Sales with responsibility for two divisional legal teams, advertising content compliance and ITV’s sales agency relationships with broadcasters and platforms domestically and abroad. He sits on the BCAP and Clearcast boards and has been a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Education and Training Committee since 2012. He has volunteered for the charity Body & Soul in various roles since 1999 and currently provides support with a monthly Pro Bono clinic (established in 2009) and Professional Skills Volunteering Programme he created; he founded the Legal Social Mobility Partnership in 2014 the aim of which is to promote diversity in the legal profession.

Geoff Nicholas

Geoff has been a partner in the Dispute Resolution group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for more than 20 years. He is co-head of the firm’s Global Investigations group and the Global Markets partner. Brought up in North Wales, Geoff studied law at Sheffield University and went to the College of Law in Chester. He started work at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 1985. He has spent time working in the firm’s offices in London, New York and Hong Kong. Whilst a partner, he has twice been seconded to work for clients, including in the US. Geoff advises international clients on regulatory risk and handles both internal and external investigations.

Dame Denise Platt DBE

Denise has a portfolio of interests: she is Chair of the National AIDS Trust and a member of the General Medical Council. She is a Trustee of the NSPCC, a Trustee of the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and member of the Advisory Board of the NIHR School of Social Care Research at the LSE. She is Patron of MHA (Methodist Homes for the Aged) and is Vice Patron of Family Action. She has a background in social care and has held a number of leadership positions in the public and third sectors at national and local level. Past positions include Member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, Governor of the University of Bedfordshire (where she is an Honorary Fellow), Audit Commissioner and Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate. She was Director of Social Services in Hammersmith and Fulham and is a past President of the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Deep Sagar

Deep worked as a senior manager in private-sector businesses such as Coca-Cola internationally. More recently he has worked as a non-executive director and management consultant. He is presently chair of the National Police Chiefs Council’s audit and assurance board and has been member of the Law Society of Scotland’s professional practice committee and the Health Professions Council. He has long and varied experience with solicitors. He chaired the Leasehold Advisory Service – largely staffed by solicitors – recently, for example.

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