OLC announce new appointments

15 October, 2020

OLC announce appointment of new Chief Ombudsman and Chief Operating Officer

The Office for Legal Complaints is pleased to announce the appointments of Paul McFadden as Chief Ombudsman and Sandra Strinati as Chief Operating Officer of the Legal Ombudsman.

Elisabeth Davies, Chair of OLC, said: “Paul and Sandra are joining the Legal Ombudsman at a critically important time, for staff and customers, and for recovering and improving performance. They will revitalise and further strengthen the restructured leadership team and I am confident Paul and Sandra will lead LeO in both stabilising operational delivery and testing innovative ways to deliver the service more efficiently”.

Paul McFadden is highly experienced in the Ombudsman field with a track record in developing Ombudsman organisations and delivering change and innovation in complaints handling. He recently served as Acting Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman and previously worked for a number of years with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

He said: “I am honoured to be taking on this important leadership role with the Legal Ombudsman and to be bringing my experience to the organisation at such an important point. I very much look forward to working with the OLC and all of the LeO team, drawing on their valuable experience and insight as we seek to build and deliver a first rate service for complainants. I also look forward to positive engagement with service providers and wider stakeholders in seeking to maximise opportunities to learn from complainants’ experiences to improve legal services.”

Sandra Strinati has an outstanding record in the civil service demonstrating a deep understanding of managing complex operational teams, most recently as the Head of the Operational Delivery Profession Team at HMRC. She said: “I am both excited and delighted to be taking up the new role of Chief Operating Officer with the Legal Ombudsman. My career has been focused on service to customers, people engagement and transformation. In this new role my aim will be to ensure there's a supportive and productive environment for LeO’s teams to work together and provide the quality and timely service that our customers deserve and expect.”

For further information, please contact the External Affairs Team by calling 0121 245 3047 / 0121 245 3231 or emailing support@legalombudsman.org.uk.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales was set up by the Office for Legal Complaints (our board) under the Legal Services Act 2007 and is an independent and impartial scheme to help resolve legal service disputes. When it receives complaints, it examines the facts in each case and weighs up both sides of the story. The Ombudsman is not a consumer champion or part of the legal profession and is also independent of Government.

2. Paul McFadden and Sandra Strinati will join the Legal Ombudsman in January 2021, dates to be confirmed.

Paul McFadden, Chief Ombudsman biography:

Paul is highly experienced in the Ombudsman field with a track record in developing Ombudsman organisations and leading them through significant change and growth. He has led independent investigation of complaints across a wide range of public service areas, with a strong focus on using complaints to improve services and improving complaints handling culture.

Paul recently served as Acting Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) and Local Government Commissioner for Standards, with oversight of Northern Ireland’s public services and local government Councillors’ conduct. He was Deputy Ombudsman for Northern Ireland from 2016, also holding the posts of Deputy Commissioner for Local Government Standards and Judicial Appointments Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in that time.

Paul joined NIPSO from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) where, as a member of the Senior Management Team, he helped lead the organisation through a period of significant development and growth. He established and headed up the SPSO’s Complaints Standards Authority, implementing a streamlined and improved complaints handling framework and delivering improvements in complaints culture across Scotland’s public bodies.
Paul previously helped establish Scotland’s first independent Police Complaints Commission and the UK Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

In 2013 he was appointed by Scottish Government Ministers as a member of the Scottish Administrative Justice and Tribunals Advisory Committee, which provided external scrutiny of the administrative justice system in Scotland. He currently serves on the UK Administrative Justice Council.

Sandra Strinati, Chief Operating Officer biography:

Since 2016 Sandra has worked as the cross-government civil service Head of the Operational Delivery Profession Team based in HMRC. She currently works to the 2nd Permanent Secretary HMRC and the cross-government Head of Profession, Permanent Secretary in DWP.

In the absence of a cross-government lead in 2017, Sandra took sole responsibility for the strategic development of the largest profession in government, the Operational Delivery Profession (ODP). Working with the Directors General and other senior leaders she delivers a cross-cutting programme of work projects through two distinct multi discipline teams - one operational, the other concentrating on strategy development.

Through the unique operational team which she leads, she has supported high profile activities, including being an integral element of the government response to the Grenfell fire tragedy, the wide scale repatriation of UK citizens following the Monarch airline collapse, and the repatriation of Thomas Cook customers from 51 worldwide locations.

She had previously (2011 – 2016) been a Regional Director of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service in the South West of England with responsibility for large scale people leadership, strategic planning, operational performance, transformational change, customer service improvement, stakeholder management and budgetary management for all operations in 80 courts and tribunals.

Prior to that (2005 – 2011) she was an Area Director at HMCTS in London. Rated as a top performing Senior Civil Servant in six of the past seven performance years Sandra is a leader who engages colleagues to drive performance improvement and cultural change, and develops and delivers business and process improvement for the benefit of customers and service users.