Chief Operating Officer

Legal Ombudsman


  • Location


  • Job type


  • Sector


  • Salary/Remuneration

    £90,000 - £105,000

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    30 July 2020

  • Client

    Legal Ombudsman

Ref: GSe65055

“Legal Ombudsman needs to shape up”

This recent headline in the Times highlighted the fact that it has been a challenging few years for the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) and the article outlined the critical operational performance issues facing the scheme. While we are proud to report some good progress through our modernisation programme and other key initiatives, we are keenly aware there is still much to be done.

As an independent body, LeO’s role is to provide consumers with a service that is modern, responsive and efficient. At the heart of this is the need to give people confidence in the services they use at the most significant points in their life - buying a new house, dealing with a separation and access to children, dealing with employment disputes. Our work is varied and we deliver our services in a multi-faceted and rapidly changing external landscape through our team of 250 staff at a single site and with a total budget expenditure of 13 million. 

It is a time of considerable change and opportunity for LeO. Our current Chief Ombudsman, Rebecca Marsh is leaving to become the Property Ombudsman, so in response to this and to enable us to fully address the operational performance issues facing the scheme, the LeO senior leadership team has been restructured to strengthen leadership and capability. This includes creating the new position of Chief Operating Officer to work closely with the new Chief Ombudsman to shape and deliver change and improvement. With a high level of autonomy and authority, our new COO will run the ‘engine room’ of the scheme, leading and delivering its advice, support, and resolution service, as well IT and HR support functions. This is a muscular operational delivery role, responsible for roughly 90% of our budgeted expenditure, and leading around 220 of our 250 staff. It also, however, requires a strategic mindset and approach, as the appointee will be expected to collaborate with the Chief Ombudsman in setting and driving our organisational vision, operational strategy, and customer service culture. 

The post requires senior leadership team-level experience, running a complex operations, and an impressive history effectively and consistently leading the change, improvement and delivery of high-volume, transactional services, such as casework, complaints management, investigations and applications management, ideally gained in a regulated environment. You are an inspiring leader of people, and can point to a track record building, leading, motivating and developing high-performing multi-disciplinary teams, creating cultures of inclusion, customer focus, and continuous improvement. Your approach is collegiate, and your communication skills are excellent; these will stand you in good stead establishing and maintaining credibility with our Board and commanding their trust and confidence. It would be helpful if you also had prior experience in the public, regulatory, legal, or financial services sectors, but this is not essential.

This will be a demanding role, and you will need to demonstrate high levels of personal resilience in managing competing pressures, which will be underpinned by strong programme and project management skills. You can demonstrate clear commitment to high standards of public service delivery, and are able to engage and inspire confidence at all levels of a complex organisation, qualities you will harness to help lead LeO through the next critical stage in its development.

Closing Date12 noon Friday 31 July 2020
Longlist Meetingw/c Monday 10 August 2020
Preliminary Interviewsw/c Monday 17 August 2020
Shortlist Meetingw/c Monday 24 August 2020
Final Panel Intervieww/c Monday 7 September 2020
How to apply

The Chief Operating Officer will be selected on the basis of a combination of written application and interview.

To apply for this post, please submit:

  • A comprehensive CV (no more than two sides of A4).
  • A detailed supporting statement that addresses the Essential and Desirable Criteria as set out in the Person Specification as far as you are able (no more than two sides of A4) and take care to provide evidence and examples. Skills, abilities, and personal characteristics will be tested at interview, if your application is progressed.
  • Details of two referees whom we would be able to contact at shortlist stage. Referees will not be contacted without your prior permission.

If you have any queries about any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or wish to have an informal and confidential discussion, then Katrina Paget, Jemima Dalgliesh, or Matt Malone would be pleased to take your call on 0113 205 6063. GatenbySanderson will respect the privacy of any initial approach or expression of interest in this role, whether formal or informal.

Contact details
Matt Malone: 0113 205 6063