WALES/ENGLAND – Appointment of the Family Justice Board Chair

The Government has appointed David Norgrove as the Chair of the new Family Justice Board. Mr Norgrove will oversee the Board which is a key part of the reforms announced in the Family Justice Review.

The Family Justice Review panel made a number of recommendations to Government to reform and strengthen the family justice system. Our response to this review, published earlier this year, stated our commitment to overhaul the system by tackling delays, streamlining processes and supporting families to resolve their own disputes.

The creation of the Family Justice Board forms part of the Government’s strategy to ensure better cross-system working. The Board, accountable to Ministers, is made up of senior figures representing the key organisations in the family justice system. The Board is focusing on reducing delay across the system, helping it prepare for the introduction of the statutory six month time limit in care cases. The Board will also work to build cross agency coherence, tackle variations in local performance, and ensure more private law cases are resolved out of court, where appropriate.

Family Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

I am pleased David Norgrove has been appointed as the Chair of the Family Justice Board. This will be a key role in starting the immediate work on reforming our system. This is no easy job and we fully recognise that achieving any significant change is far from simple.

The reform of family justice is a critical priority for Government. Our reforms are ambitious and system-wide and particularly tackle the crucial problem of delay.

Responding to his appointment as Chair of the Family Justice Board, David Norgrove said:

This is an opportunity for me to continue the panel’s work in reforming a system that I know can be improved to ensure better outcomes for families and importantly, for children.

As Chair of the Family Justice Board I will be working with organisations and practitioners across the country to improve performance. I believe this radical package of reforms will help children and families through cutting the current long delays and through much better support for separating couples who are sorting out their issues.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:

We need to build trust in the family justice system and end its delays, expense and bureaucracy which damage far too many children’s lives. David Norgrove did an outstanding job leading the independent family justice review which has shaped our radical reforms. He brings a wealth of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the table – and will do an excellent job.

The Board will report on its work annually and will be supported by a network of new local family justice boards to bring together agencies and stakeholders to drive improvements locally.

Notes to Editors

1. For more information please contact the Ministry of Justice Press Office on 020 3334 3536.
2. A photo of David Norgrove is available via the Ministry of Justice press office.
3. David Norgrove’s biography:
David Norgrove is currently Chairman of Pensions First, the Low Pay Commission and the Amnesty International Charitable Trust. He was the first Chairman of the Pensions Regulator.  He has been a trustee and Deputy Chairman of the British Museum.  He chaired a review of the Family Justice System in 2010-11. His earlier career included work in HM Treasury, at First National Bank of Chicago, as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, and as an Executive Director of Marks and Spencer.
4. The Government’s Family Justice Review is published on the Ministry of Justice website.


Associated resources

Family Justice Review

External link


. David Norgrove,  Independent Chair
(Now the Independent Chair is in place, the Board was chaired by Helen Edwards, Director General, Justice Policy Group, Ministry of Justice and Tom Jeffery, Director General, Children, Young People and Families, Department for Education.)

. Kevin Sadler, Director with responsibility for Family Justice, HMCTS
. Anthony Douglas, Chief Executive, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)
. Matthew Coats, Chief Executive, Legal Services Commission
. Catherine Lee, Director Justice Policy Group, Ministry of Justice
. Shirley Trundle, Director Families Group, Department for Education
. Gerard Hetherington, Director Department of Health
. Rebecca Endean, Director Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice
. Noel Shanahan, Commissioner and Chief Executive, Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC)
. Two Welsh Government Representative (Gillian Baranski and either Rob Pickford or Julie Rogers.)See Family Justice Network in Wales – (Below)
. Gillian Baranski, Chief Executive, CAFCASS CYMRU
. Jake Morgan, Association of Directors of Social Services, Wales
. Andrew Webb, Association of Directors of Children’s Services, England
. Gillian Beasley, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), England

A member of the Judiciary will have Observer status on the Board. Although not a member of the Board, the judicial representative takes a full part in the Board’s discussions and offers his views to the Board.

The Family Justice Review was clear of the need to create a more coherent system, characterised by trust and coordination between the different Courts and agencies involved. As the first step towards this, we have created a Family Justice Board to provide greater leadership and co-ordination across delivery agencies nationally and locally and prepare the system for the changes to come.

The Family Justice Board brings together key departments, delivery bodies, local authority representatives and the judiciary into a single forum to oversee the delivery of family justice. Its priority will be on driving improvements in the system’s performance, with a focus on greater cross-agency coherence, tackling variations in local performance and making progress against the prospective 6-month time-limit for care cases.

Yours sincerely,

Irene Museveni
Family Justice Division



. The Honourable Mr Justice Roderic Wood – Family Division Liaison Judge for Wales
. HHJ Mark Furness (Observer) – DFJ Newport Care Centre
. HHJ Gareth Jones (Observer) – DFJ Wrexham Care Centre
. DJ Owen Williams – District Judge , Caernarfon County Court
. HHJ Crispin Masterman (Observer) DFJ, Cardiff and Pontypridd Care Centres
. HHJ Isabel Parry (Observer) DFJ Swansea Care Centre

Names + Representing
. Rob Pickford (Chair) – Director of Social Services Wales
. Julie Rogers (Deputy Chair) – Deputy Director Children’s Social Services, Welsh Government
. Gillian Baranski – Chief Executive of CAFCASS CYMRU
. Colin Everett – SOLACE
. Rhian Huws Williams – Chief Executive, Care Council for Wales
. Tom Jones – Legal Services Commissioner
. Jake Morgan – ADSS
. Heather Payne – Senior Medical Officer for Children, Welsh Government
. Hugh Simkiss HMCTS
. Steve Thomas Chief Executive, WLGA
. Keith Towler Children’s Commissioner for Wales
. Peter Vaughan Chief Constable South Wales Police
(ACPO Cymru Chair)
. Hilary Williams Wales Stakeholder Liaison Manager, Legal Services Commission

Russell Roberts Welsh Government
Joanna Morgan Welsh Government
Vivian Cornelius Welsh Government

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