All change: significant new appointments at MedCo, CEDR, NHSLA and Vannin Capital

Heskins: MedCo promotion

A structural change at MedCo kicks off our round-up of a series of significant appointments in the world of litigation.

Martin Heskins has been named as MedCo’s executive chair with responsibility for leadership and strategic direction.

Mr Heskins, formerly general manager of MedCo and before that civil justice policy adviser at the Law Society – where he was the society’s MedCo director – replaces Lorraine Rogerson.

In a statement, MedCo said that in line with its articles of association, Ms Rogerson opted to step down as independent chair in December 2016, after a two-year tenure that saw the portal’s launch and implementation of the revised qualifying criteria published by the MoJ in October 2016 to stop the creation of ‘shell’ medical reporting organisations.

Further, Leigh Evans has been appointed to oversee MedCo operations with responsibility for system functionality and user experience. Mr Evans is employed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which is the appointed service provider to MedCo.

Elsewhere, there has been a major shake-up at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), with Dr Karl Mackie – who has been chief executive since it was created in 1990 – becoming founder president. It will be recruiting a new chief executive.

In a statement, CEDR said: “This new role reflects the unique contribution that Karl has made to CEDR over many years. It will allow him to concentrate both on CEDR’s Foundation activities to innovate in dispute resolution and on his prestigious mediation practice.”

Further, deputy chief executive Eileen Carroll will take on a new role as principal mediator and co-founder, enabling her to work exclusively in her mediation practice.

Dr Elizabeth Vallance, CEDR’s chairman, said: “Karl has been synonymous with CEDR since its inception, making an unparalleled contribution not only to the organisation but to the professional development of mediation and alternative dispute resolution, both in the UK and internationally.

“His experience and knowledge of the area will give a real boost to CEDR’s strategic ambitions and we look forward to working with him in this important new role.”

Dr Mackie said, “It is rare that you get to change jobs whilst still doing what you love and working with colleagues that you respect and admire. So I am thrilled that this move to become CEDR’s founder president will allow me to expand my dispute resolution practice and also to focus more on thought-leading and ground-breaking initiatives.”

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has appointed Mike Pinkerton as a non-executive director to its board. He steps down as chief executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of this month after nearly five years, and also completing 20 years as an NHS board director.

It follows the appointment of Dr Mike Durkin, NHS national director for patient safety at NHS Improvement, as an associate non-executive director to its board so as to provide expert knowledge of patient safety in general, and national patient safety initiatives undertaken by NHS Improvement in particular.

Ian Dilks, chairman of the NHSLA, said the appointments “reflect our commitment to working collaboratively with other parts of the NHS to improve patient safety”.

Finally, third-party litigation funder Vannin Capital has named Sir Andrew Smith QC, who retired from the High Court bench last October, as a new member of its investment committee.

A former judge in charge of the Commercial Court, he will continue to sit as a deputy High Court judge, is appointed as a judge to Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts and will sit as an arbitrator.

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