Legal & Regulatory

Government appoints new Gambling Commissioners


Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale MP, has appointed five new commissioners to the Gambling Commission. Sarika Patel, John Baillie, Catharine Seddin, Simone Pennie and Stephen Cohen will take up their roles immediately.

Sarika Patel is a qualified chartered accountant with 25 years experience working in public and private organisations. She is currently a partner at Zeus Capital, vice chair of Centrepoint, a trustee of the Royal Institution and on the board of Imperial Healthcare Trust.

John Baillie is also a chartered accountant. He has served as chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, chair of Audit Scotland, and a member of the Reporting Panel of the Competition and Markets Authority.

Baillee is also a visiting professor of accountancy at the University of Edinburgh Business School and a trustee of The ICAS Foundation, a charity that sponsors young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to study for degrees in accountancy or finance.

Catharine Seddon is a former film documentary maker and producer who has been working for the judiciary since 2002. She is a presiding magistrate in the City of Westminster and a lay assessor under the Equality Act in county court cases.

She also sits on tribunals of Social Security, Employment and Mental Health, and her public appointments include chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and member of the Determinations Panel of The Pensions Regulator.

Seddon is also a trustee of the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Simone Pennie is a chartered accountant who has worked across the globe, resulting in her appointment as finance director of BBC World News in 2005.

She has held numerous other positions including chair of the Audit Committee and non executive director of Wye Valley NHS Trust, Independent Risk and Audit Committee member for Ofcom, governor of Westonbirt Schools and independent member of the inaugural Audit & Assurance Board for the National Police Chiefs Council.

Stephen Cohen has worked in the financial industry for over 35 years in London, New York and Tokyo. He has served on company boards, and has set up new businesses as well as restructuring established firms. He has also sat on industry panels aimed at addressing regulator policy proposals and making change proposals to regulators.

Patel, Seddon and Baillie have been appointed for five years, Cohen and Pennie have been appointed for four years.

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