Wanda Goldwag, Chair of the OLC

Q&A with Wanda Goldwag

On 1 April 2017, Wanda Goldwag was appointed as the new Chair of Office of Legal Complaints – the board for the Legal Ombudsman.

A renowned expert on regulation, human resources and entrepreneurial businesses, Wanda has a wealth of senior and director level experience. Over the years, she has built up a portfolio of Non-Executive and Government roles. This includes Chair and Independent Standards Commissioner for the Senet Group for Responsible Gambling; an advisor to Smedvig Venture Capital and founder of leading HR and recruitment consultancy True North Human Capital. In 2012 she was appointed as a Civil Service Commissioner for a five year term which has just ended and in 2016 as a lay member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Wanda lives in London and is married to Catherine who is Head of Child Protection for a London Borough.

We caught up with Wanda to ask her some questions…

  1. How are you settling into your new role?
  2. I’ve really enjoyed my first few weeks as Chair and I’m very pleased to be starting at LeO at such an exciting time. I am thrilled that, after a challenging few years, the organisation has been stabilised and the foundations of good governance are now in place. I think the senior team has done a great deal of work to get us to where we are now and it’s my role to lead on the next step change and drive forward our modernisation agenda.

  3. What skills and experience do you bring to the role?
  4. I’ve had experience of running businesses with very large call centre operations, for example Air Miles where we had almost 1,200 staff across two call centres.  I’ve also been very involved in case processing in the music industry where there were disputes about who owned royalties. Some of these cases needed to be handled very quickly because millions of pounds of royalties were going to the wrong people. So, in some ways, the LeO is a much easier process for me. Instead of dealing with hundreds of thousands of cases each year, the good news about the legal profession is that there are less than 10,000 cases a year.

  5. What are your first impressions of LeO and the team?
  6. At LeO we are privileged to have a very conscientious team of people who work extraordinarily hard to be fair - both to consumers and to the companies they complain about. We live in a world where people are not only much clearer about what services they should expect but also much more demanding. It’s important that LeO provides absolute clarity about where the profession has done well and when something has gone wrong.

  7. What do you see as our key strengths and what areas do we need to improve on?
  8. Our clear strength is our objectivity and our ability to look at cases with clarity. I think that technology has not always been our biggest strength and I’m very keen that we give this more of a focus going forward. We need to make sure that people can contact us in a variety of different ways, including online and through the Live Chat web service we have recently launched.

  9. You’ve started just as we’ve launched our new strategy and business plan. What do you see as the main priorities over the coming year?
  10. For me the main priority is to continue to stabilise the organisation and to process cases as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, it’s important that we don’t confuse speed with accuracy - it’s far better for everyone concerned that we make the right decision, rather than reaching a decision too quickly.
    You will be seeing and hearing more from LeO over the coming months as we meet with you, listen to your views and work with you to share learning and provide more effective feedback to the profession.

  11. Tell us an interesting fact about you
  12. I own a slice of two pizza restaurants in Brighton and Hove.

  13. What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
  14. I would definitely take Spotify with me. Music can change your mood – it can make you happy or sad and it passes the time.  Given that I was a Director at the Performing Right Society for 12 years, I’m very music orientated!
    I would probably take something to help me learn to swim better so I could swim around my island.

    And I’d take a Swiss Army knife to help me survive.
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