Happy news from our friends at the Legal Services Board, where Obiter detects the patter of board members’ feet. Joining as lay members are Catharine Seddon and Jeremy Mayhew. To borrow the striking phrase of LSB chair Sir Michael Pitt, Obiter is ‘delighted’.
The newcomers arrive to a full in-tray – not least superintending the LSB’s statutory duty to promote diversity and equality in the legal profession. In its own words, the LSB will ‘actively embed diversity and equality practices into the way we operate as an organisation’.
There would seem to be a clear meritocratic path here for board members – in summary, you get an undergraduate philosophy degree, which you take at the University of Oxford, and then have a career in broadcasting, which is exactly what Kate and Jeremy have in common.
The LSB’s chief executive Neil Buckley is another Oxford grad, while non-lay board members Michael Smyth and Jemima Coleman toughed it out at Cambridge. Oxford and Cambridge alumni account for 50% of the board, compared with less than 1% of the general population.
Do we care if the LSB is a teensy bit uniform at the top? In its own words ‘we should’, on the grounds that the LSB is ‘promoting and encouraging approved regulators and the legal profession to address equality and diversity issues’.
Still, dominus illuminatio mea, as the latest LSB board minutes no doubt put it.