About us / Who we are
Our people

Our expert panels and committees

The Impress Board and staff team are supported by a number of expert panels and committees. These groups also play a core role in the function of our regulatory scheme.

The Impress Appointment Panel is an independent subcommittee of the Impress Board, which is responsible for appointing Board members and members of the Regulatory Committee through a fair and open process. The Panel itself was recruited through a fair and open process. It is also responsible for setting the rates of remuneration for the Chair and Board members.

Chris Kenny

Chris is the former Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board, the overarching independent regulator of the legal sector. He previously held senior posts in central government, regulation  and the private sector, and was for six years a member of the Board of Ombudsman Services. He undertook a major review of the Financial Ombudsman Service with Lord Hunt of Wirral in 2007-08. He is now Chief Executive of the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and an independent member of the Board of Sheffield Hallam University.

Caroline Instance MCIPD
Deputy Chair

Caroline was appointed Chief Executive of Opra in 1996, after 18 years in human resources, to set up the UK’s first statutory regulator for pensions. From 2002 to 2011 she was CEO of the two UK professional bodies for actuaries. She facilitated improvement to their self-regulatory mechanisms and assisted in the merger of the bodies and development of a new Privy Council Charter. She is currently a Non Executive Director of Omnilife, a trustee of Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and Chairman of Thakeham Parish Council.

Jean Gray

Jean is former Editorial Director at the Royal College of Nursing’s publishing company where she was responsible for the group’s 12 nursing titles and websites, as well as Nursing Standard which became the UK’s leading weekly nursing title. Jean began her career as a local newspaper journalist working on a range of weekly titles in North and East London.  She is currently a Trustee and Media Adviser with the Mary Seacole Trust, a charity that promotes the legacy of Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole to campaign for diversity and a more inclusive society, with a particular focus on inspiring young people and promoting diverse leadership in both private and public organisations.

Paul McFarlane

Paul is a Partner at Capsticks LLP who has 25 years’ experience advising, mainly employers in the public sector, on all aspects of employment and discrimination law. His particular specialisms include advising on: complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, advising on working time and industrial relations issues. He regularly writes on employment law issues in the national, HR and legal press. Paul is also Deputy Chair of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA); a Board Director with Black Solicitors Network (BSN); and an External Assessor for the College of Policing. In 2019, Paul was named Chambers and Partners Minority Lawyer of the Year for his work in trying to improve diversity and inclusion within the legal profession.

Damian Tambini

Damian is Associate Professor at the London School of Economics. From 2002 to 2006 he was Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on media and telecommunications policy, co-author of Codifying Cyberspace: Self-regulation of Converging Media (2008) and co-editor of Cyberdemocracy (1998) and Citizenship, Markets, and the State (2000).

The Arbitration Panel is made up of leading arbitration practitioners specialising in all aspects of media law and regulation. When parties agree to resolve a dispute through arbitration, an Impress arbitrator is appointed from the panel by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the leading non-profit body in the field of arbitration.

Jane Mulcahy QC

Jane is a barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London. She was called to the bar in 1995 and appointed as silk in 2014. Much of Jane’s work involves employment or sport, and sometimes both, whether as an advocate, mediator or arbitrator. She deals with cases in the high court and Court of Appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal the Employment Tribunals and specialist tribunals/arbitrations, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She also sits on various sporting panels as well as private arbitrations, she is a CEDR accredited mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and deals with an increasing number of mediations.

Jane has acted in various disputes concerning reputational issues, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, undue influence and copyright. Jane taught Media Law to undergraduate journalists at City University and formerly acted as libel reader for The Observer newspaper. Before coming to the Bar, Jane worked as a journalist latterly as editorial director for a magazine publishing company.

Ian Ridd

Ian is an experienced barrister. He was called to the bar in 1975 and is a barrister at Farrar’s Building in London. Ian is a commercial and civil law practitioner with a broad-based practice in commercial litigation and arbitration, employment, professional negligence and professional disciplinary and regulatory work. In the commercial field he has particular expertise I the fields of insurance, sale of goods, product liability, carriage of goods and banking and securities law. Ian also has media law experience, having advised and appeared in High Court defamation proceedings, acting for both claimants and defendants. He has also advised clients in connection with obtaining injunctions to restrain publication of matters protected by the law of confidence and privacy.

Ian has been a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 1994 and sits as an arbitrator in commercial disputes. He is also an Accredited Mediator.

Clive Thorne

Clive is an experienced solicitor and arbitrator in intellectual property and media law. He is a Partner at McCarthy Denning. Prior to this, Clive was Special Counsel at Baker Botts law firm, a Partner at Wedlake Bell LLP and at RPC and Denton Hall. He has acted for clients in the Copyright Tribunal, Patents County Court (formerly the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court), High Court, Court of Appeal, Privy Council, House of Lords and Supreme Court. He has significant experience handling claims for copyright infringement, passing off, defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence and breach of contract. Clive has particular experience in the arbitration of disputes, domestically and internationally, both advising clients and sitting as an arbitrator within the UK, India and Asia. Clive is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Malcolm Holmes QC

Malcolm is a highly experienced international arbitrator and lawyer. After obtaining a BCL from Oxford he was admitted as a barrister in New South Wales in 1977 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. His London practice is from 20 Essex Street Chambers. His Sydney practice is from Eleven Wentworth Chambers. Malcolm has signification media law experience particularly in defamation.

He is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He was formerly a Trustee and Treasurer of the Institute and is a Past President of the Australian Branch. He is a director and Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) and a Fellow of the Resolution Institute, formerly the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA). He is a member of the LCIA and a member of the panel of arbitrators maintained by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB). He has been an arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland since 1995.

Chris Ryan

Chris is an experienced lawyer with a background in intellectual property, including confidential information, malicious falsehood and defamation. Since 2004, Chris has sat as a part time judge in the First tier Tribunal (Information Rights). The Tribunal decides appeals from decisions on freedom of information by the Information Commissioner. Chris is also a deputy judge of the Upper Tribunal and a member of the National Security Appeals Panel.

In 2003 he accepted a part time position as Consultant to Nottingham Law School at Nottingham Trent University designing and delivering courses on intellectual property and freedom of information for professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. Prior to this, Chris was a solicitor and then partner in the London office of Norton Rose. He headed the intellectual property team from 1999 to 2003, was a member of the firm’s management committee from 1991 to 1996 and was the firm’s insurance partner for about 12 years. He remained at Norton Rose until 2006, on a part time basis, as the firm’s in house counsel. Chris is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Laurence Kennedy

Laurence is an advocate at the Scottish bar and an experienced tribunal judge. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Laurence started his career as a solicitor in 1995 and called to the bar in 2000. He spent five years as part-time legal adviser to a number of national newspapers giving regular pre-publication advice. As an advocate, he has represented both claimants and newspapers in a range of actions based on defamation, privacy and breach of copyright. Laurence has more than five years’ experience as a tribunal judge and has heard and decided cases in both Scotland and London. He completed his accreditation as an arbitrator in London and has been admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.