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Panel Members

The Independent Expert Panel is guided by the principle of transparency. Membership requires the highest standards of propriety, involving impartiality, integrity and objectivity. It is expected that members will undertake other paid and unpaid roles and they are not therefore expected to declare all financial and other interests. Any actual or potential conflict of interest relating to the work of the Panel (in general or in relation to individual cases) is brought to the attention of the Secretary to the Panel.

Members have been encouraged to include in their profiles:

  • an outline of previous professional experience, especially where relevant to the work of the Panel
  • all current paid positions,
  • any significant unpaid positions, especially where relevant to the work of the Panel
  • any notable distinctions, awards or honours

There are eight members of the Independent Expert Panel. You can read brief biographies of each of the Panel Members below:

Mrs Lisa Ball

Lisa Ball has two decades’ experience determining cases and complaints in a range of fields including bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, misconduct and professional standards. In 2008 she was appointed as one of the first independent members of the Armed Forces Service Complaints Panel and since 2009 she has also acted as the independent member of the Queen’s Counsel Complaints Committee.

Lisa has previously served in various independent and lay roles and is a trained mediator.

Ms Monica Daley

Monica Daley is a barrister of 25 years’ standing. She has acted in a judicial capacity since 2006, first as a Fee-Paid Property Judge of the Residential Property Tribunal and also, more recently, as a fee-paid judge for both the Health and Social Care Tribunal and the Special Education and Disability Tribunal dealing with appeals in cases involving sensitive and confidential issues. 

Monica brings her legal knowledge and experience to her current role as a legal assessor for the Fitness to Practise committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council where she is responsible for advising on procedure and the law.

In 2015 she was appointed as one of the first cohorts of independent legal Chairs of the Police Misconduct committee for East England. This role involved making preliminary decisions and chairing cases involving a wide range of allegations of police misconduct.

Mrs Johanna Higgins

Johanna Higgins is currently a Northern Ireland Commissioner for the Criminal Cases Review Commission, a panel member for the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, and a panel member for the Civil Legal Services Appeal Panel, Northern Ireland.

Johanna is a barrister of 27 years call and has worked as a senior public prosecutor in Northern Ireland. She has extensive experience of criminal casework, criminal appeals, judicial review, historic cases, adjudication and community care law. She is also an elected member of the Royal Historical Society.

Rt Hon Sir Stephen Irwin

Sir Stephen Irwin was appointed Lord Justice of Appeal in 2016 and acted as the supervising justice for extradition and national security cases until his retirement in October 2020. He is a member of the Privy Council and continues to sit part-time as a deputy Lord Justice of Appeal.

Since July 2021, Stephen has, at the request of the request of the claimants and central defendants, been facilitating discussions to design an alternative dispute resolution procedure for the bereaved, survivors and relatives of the Grenfell fire tragedy.

Stephen was a High Court judge from 2006 to 2016. Between 2013 and 2016 he was Chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) and from 2011 to 2018 he was Chairman of the Judicial Security Committee responsible for judges’ safety. He spent seven years as a tutor on the Judicial College leadership course.

Prior to his judicial career Stephen had extensive experience as a barrister, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997, and in 2004 took on the high-profile role of Chairman of the Bar for England and Wales.

Professor Clare McGlynn QC (Hon)

Clare McGlynn is a Professor of Law at Durham University, with particular expertise in criminal law. A qualified solicitor, she was appointed QC (Hon) in 2020 in recognition of the influence of her research on law and policy reform, particularly image-based sexual abuse and extreme pornography.

Clare was a member of Durham University’s Sexual Violence Taskforce and undertakes sexual violence and misconduct investigations within the university, as well as supporting other institutions regarding their sexual misconduct policies. She also has experience of adjudicating claims of bullying and harassment.

Clare has held several leadership roles at Durham including as Deputy Head (Research) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, Director of the ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund and member of its governing body, the University Council.

Miss Dale Simon 

Dale Simon is a qualified barrister (currently not practicing) who had an extensive career with the Crown Prosecution Service where she was the Director for Public Accountability and Inclusion and had corporate responsibility for hate crime and violence against women and girls. She spent three years as Head of the Office for Judicial Complaints handling serious and sensitive judicial investigations and was also a Non-Executive Director at the Parole Board for 6 years where she was a member of the Management Committee and the Chair of the Standards Committee.

Dale currently sits as an independent panel member for public appointments for the Ministry of Justice and as a lay chair of Fitness to Practice Hearings for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She is also a member of the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

Dale was an advocate consultant for Phase II of The Young Review with responsibility for liaising with statutory and voluntary organisations, taking forward the recommendations of the Young Review to reduce the disproportionality negative outcomes for young Black Asian and Minority Ethnic and/or Muslim men in the criminal justice system.

In 2013 Dale was awarded a CBE for services to equality and diversity.

Sir Peter Thornton QC

Sir Peter Thornton is a former judge. He was a Senior Circuit Judge between 2007 and 2016 sitting at the Central Criminal Court, hearing cases involving murder, terrorism and serious sexual offences. He also sat as an appellate judge in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and in the High Court on inquest appeals.

Peter was the first person to hold the post of Chief Coroner of England and Wales, between 2012 and 2016. In that role he led the coroner service into a new era, with reform, modernisation, reduction of delays, extensive programmes of training, revision of draft regulations and new written guidance.

Having chaired five different disciplinary panels, including misconduct panels for academic staff at University College London and fitness to practise appeals for medical students, Peter is at present Chair of the UCL Discipline Review Body.

He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Law School at King’s College London and trains judges and coroners in the UK and abroad. He is Patron of the National Network of Child Death Review Panels.

Dr Matthew Vickers

Matthew Vickers is currently Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services, which is the UK’s energy and telecommunications ombudsman. He is responsible for procedural and administrative justice, ensuring that investigations are carried out with empathy and balance and that decisions are consistent and well-reasoned.

Matthew was previously CEO of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) which is responsible for the investigation of complaints about the legal profession in Scotland. In that role he was responsible for establishing the SLCC’s credibility and legitimacy with the public and legal profession.

Matthew has also worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in various commercial and not-for-profit organisations.