Home News Former barrister named Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel new Chair

    Former barrister named Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel new Chair

    Former barrister named Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel new Chair
    Portman Groups new Chair for the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), Nicola Williams

    The Portman Group has appointed a former barrister, judge and ombudsman as their new Chair for the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP).

    Ms Williams new role will see her oversee the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK.

    The former barrister’s appointment follows the end of the former Chair’s, Jenny Watson CBE tenure who sat in the role for seven years and chaired more than 80 decisions.

    Ms Watson’s time as Chair coincided with a period of growth and innovation in the alcohol industry which meant presiding over important decisions regarding nostalgia marketing, the relationship between containers and consumption and products making undue health claims.

    Outcomes of these decisions resulted in the rebranding of numerous products and, on some occasions, the removal of a product from the market via a Retailer Alert Bulletin.

    Ms Williams’ already had experience as a sitting member of boards, including the Association of Chief Executives, being a key decision-maker.

    Her current role as the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces has also seen her been named the first ever Ombudsman in UK Defence.

    Speaking about her new role, Nicola Williams said: “I am excited to begin my role as the Independent Complaints Panel Chair. The Chair presides over many important decisions.

    “The recent independent audit showed that the alcohol industry is 95% compliant, meaning the Panel has a crucial role in keeping this high level of adherence to the Portman Group’s Code.

    “I am eager to begin working with the Panel to ensure the alcohol industry remains a socially responsible one within the context of a strong self-regulatory model.”

    John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group commented: “We are delighted to welcome Nicola as the new Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be crucial in working with the Panel.

    “This year has been one full of achievement for the Portman Group, with the publication of the independent audit which showed 95% compliance to the sixth edition of the Code.

    “However, it has also been a year full of challenges to the alcohol industry. Having Nicola as the new ICP Chair, as well as Philip Rycroft who was recently announced as our new Group Chair, will be invaluable in progressing our work.”