Nacab head is appointed legal watchdog

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, has appointed Ann Abraham, chief executive of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (Nacab), as the new Legal Services Ombudsman.

Abraham will take over the post, where she will oversee complaints against members of the legal profession, in September when present Ombudsman Michael Barnes stands down.

Barnes welcomed the appointment. He said: “Nacab is an excellent background for work with the Legal Services Ombudsman. She will have plenty of experience of dealing with legal consumer problems and complaints. Research shows that CABx are often the first port of call for people who want to make a complaint against their lawyers, and Ann Abraham has a very high reputation.”

Barnes said he was also pleased that the role, created in 1991, had gone to a woman. “I think it is excellent to get a woman's perspective,” he said.

Vicki Chapman, the Legal Action Group's head of policy, also welcomed the appointment. “With her experience at Nacab, Ann is in an excellent position to deal with legal service issues.”