Charity specialist solicitor joins regulator’s board

The Charity Commission has appointed Ann Phillips, who has more than 40 years’ experience advising charities on legal issues, to its board.

She is currently a consultant on charity law with Stone King LLP, where she had been a partner for 20 years and chair for six years.

Phillips is also a former chair of the Charity Law Association and had also served on the Association’s executive committee.

Her three-year term starts on September 1.

The Charity Commission’s board is chaired by QC Orlando Fraser, who is a former Conservative Party general election candidate.

However, his appointment earlier this year was overshadowed by criticism of a lack of diversity in the selection process.

Concerns were also raised that the selection process was not re run after the government’s first preferred candidate Martin Thomas resigned days before taking up the post amid claims of inappropriate behaviour at a charity he previous chaired.

In June it emerged that only one candidate from a Black or minority ethnic background has been shortlisted to chair the Charity Commission over the last four year.

This lack of diversity may stretch back to the creation of the role 16 years, as the government does not retain information around the first selection processes.

Other board members of the Commission are Tony Cohen, Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Will Lifford, Joanne Prowse, Paul Martin and Ian Karet, who was acting chair ahead of Fraser’s appointment.

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