Portman Group appoints new complaints panel chair

14th October, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

Industry watchdog the Portman Group has named Nicola Williams the new chair of its Independent Complaints Panel following the departure of Jenny Watson.

Nicola Williams has been named chair of the Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel

Williams has previously worked as a barrister in private practice and is also a Police Complaints Authority board member, commissioner at the Independent Office for Police Conduct, part-time crown court judge and an ombudsman. She has held positions in both the UK and Cayman Islands.

Prior to joining the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), Williams was previously a member of the board at the Association of Chief Executives, and has extensive experience as a key decision maker.

She 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.”

Williams’ appointment follows the end of former chair Jenny Watson’s tenure. Watson held the role for seven years and chaired more than 80 decisions, including complaints under the current sixth edition of the Code of Practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.

John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: “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.”

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