Watchdog lawyer on the move

Consumers Association senior lawyer Keith Richards, the author of the damning Which? survey into the quality and cost of legal advice, is to leave after 10 years for a newly-created in-house post at the Association of British Travel Agents.

Barrister Richards becomes Abta's first head of consumer affairs on 1 September, heading two departments – one handling enquiries and complaints from the public about Abta members, the other dealing with claims on Abta bonds and insolvency matters.

Richards said: “It's a bit of a troubleshooting role. The idea is to increase the flow of information to the consumer and increase consumer confidence, which is absolutely crucial.”

He added: “My priority will be to balance Abta's trade association function with the interests of consumers.”