The Judges

Our panel of judges include a diverse group of highly accomplished individuals from across the Credit Management community

2017 Judges

Dr Stephen Baister FCICM

President, Chartered Institute of Credit Management

Stephen Baister studied modern languages at Oxford and law at University College London. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1981 and practised as a litigator, specialising in insolvency and financial litigation.

He was appointed as a Bankruptcy Registrar of the High Court in 1996 and Chief Bankruptcy Registrar in 2004.

He has lectured on insolvency for the Judicial Studies Board (now the Judicial College), the ILA, R3, the Chancery Bar Association and a range of other organisations in the UK and abroad.

He has written on insolvency and company law for a number of periodicals, and contributes or has contributed to Civil Procedure (The White Book), The Encyclopaedia of Forms & Precedents, Atkin's Court Forms, Tolley's Insolvency Manual and Muir Hunter on Personal Insolvency. He has also written or contributed to several guide books on Eastern Europe.

He is an honorary member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association, and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management of which he became President in 2010.


Lesley Batchelor OBE

Director General, Institute of Export (IOE)

Lesley Batchelor is a champion of UK exporters, with a powerful track record in enhancing the performance of hundreds of businesses. Working as director general of the Institute of Export (IOE), an education foundation providing qualifications and support for business for over 8 years.

Active on the APPG Advisory Panel on Trade & Investment, the APP Manufacturing Group and has given evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Government support for SMEs. Lesley is often a leading light in thought leadership issues connected with international trade and has forged influential partnerships with many national and international associations.

Lesley is a graduate of the Institute of Export qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has invaluable expertise in intellectual property, global licensing and marketing. Awarded in the OBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours List and recently judged to be the CBI Real Business First Woman in Business Services and CEO of the Year from the Congress of Trade Associations for 2015.

Andrew Tate

President, R3

Andrew was appointed R3 President in April 2016.

Andrew's past role has been R3 SPG (Smaller Practices Group) Committee Chairman for a number of years. He has also participated in various R3 initiatives, including media appearances and giving evidence in Parliament on the proposals to introduce partial insolvency licences for practitioners.

As a licensed insolvency practitioner and partner at Kreston Reeves, Andrew has over 25 years' experience in insolvency and restructuring and heads the Kreston Reeves Recovery and Restructuring team. Prior to joining Kreston Reeves, Andrew spent eight years at Baker Tilly and a further six years working for a smaller practice.


Nigel Fields MCICM

Executive Director of Credit, Twentieth Century Fox International Corporation

Nigel has been an active member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management for over 20 years now.

He is currently the Executive Director of Credit for Twentieth Century Fox International Corporation and is responsible for their international AR processes and credit risk across EMEA, APAC & LATAM regions. He works with all the Twentieth Century Fox international subsidiaries and licensees to maximise cash flow and minimise credit risks. Nigel is also a trustee of the Twentieth Century Fox pension scheme and assists with managing the scheme investments.

He regularly participates in CICM events and sits on the CICM's Think Tank with other senior professionals who discuss and advise on various credit related issues.


Debbie Nolan FCICM (Grad)

CICM Advisory Council – Consumer representative, CICM Technical Committee Member, Business Development Director, Arvato UK & Ireland

Debbie was appointed Business Development Director at Arvato in 2013 to boost growth in the public sector and contact centre markets. With over 25 years of sales and business development experience in the Credit, Collections and Recoveries market. Debbie specialises in generating and maintaining customer relationships.

Debbie is an active member of the CICM Technical Committee and represents Consumer Credit on the CICM Advisory Council.


Amir Ali MCICM

Chairman, Civil Court Users Association (CCUA)

Amir was elected to the position of Chairman of the CCUA in October 2015.

Amir has worked in private practice for a number of leading firms of Solicitors who specialised in debt recovery & insolvency at senior management level. In addition to being Chair of the CCUA, Amir is Director of Client Services and Business Development at High Court Enforcement Group.

The Civil Court Users Association is charged with airing and addressing the concerns of all Civil Court users in England and Wales at the very highest levels of Government, MOJ, and Her Majesty's Court & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to include all other stakeholders concerned with policy change in the Civil Realm.


Jeff Longhurst FCICM

Chief Executive Officer, Asset Based Finance Association

Jeff took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) in June 2014. The ABFA is the trade and regulatory body for Asset Based Lending in the UK and Ireland - an industry which in the year ending December 2015 provided funding to enable sales for its clients of just under £300bn. Members range from subsidiaries of major international banks to independent finance providers.

Jeff has over thirty five years' experience in asset based finance (twenty as CEO) which has involved experience of managing businesses both small and large, bank subsidiary and independent, with responsibility to a range of shareholders in the UK, USA, South Africa and France.

His career has included roles as Managing Director of Credit Agricole Commercial Finance UK (Eurofactor), Chief Executive and founder of Independent Growth Finance (IGF), Managing Director of Metropolitan Factors and several positions within the Lloyds Banking Group

Jeff is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

Charles Wilson FCICM

CICM Technical Committee Member, Chairman - Lovetts Solicitors

Charles is a specialist debt recovery lawyer, who worked for a number of US and UK companies in the early 1970s before changing careers in 1974 to begin training as a solicitor. After qualifying in 1977 he specialised in civil litigation, founding his own firm in 1981 with Lovetts director Paul McCulloch. Since 1993, he has concentrated on leading and managing Lovetts as a niche law firm, serving a national market place of credit and finance professionals.

He is a great advocate of modern technology to improve client and staff experience, but abhors technology which doesn't accomplish both these aims.

Charles is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, and past chairman of the Sussex & Surrey Branch. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and of the Law Society.

Sean Feast

Director - Gravity London , Managing Editor - Credit Management Journal

Sean Feast MCIPR, MPRCA started his career in 1984 as a reporter on The Publisher magazine, concurrently training as a journalist at the London College of Printing.

Five years in journalism on a variety of business magazines, and a spell freelancing on national press, was followed by a move into PR with Bush Steadman, part of Maxwell Business Communications (MBC). In 1991 he joined the then fledgling advertising agency, AGA, to start its PR business, AGA Public Relations, later becoming its Managing Partner. He became chairman of the AGA Group Executive Board in 2003 and a Board Director in 2009. The Group re-branded to become Gravity in 2011.

Sean has extensive PR experience within a range of different industries - notably credit services and military/defence - and has acted as an official spokesman for the debt collection industry for almost 20 years. He has led the Gravity PR team to success financially and in terms of industry recognition, winning several awards for its work in crisis management, championing the role of professional credit management and defending debt collection agencies from negative publicity. He has supported the CICM in its internal/external communications since 2007, and is Managing Editor of the Credit Management journal.

Away from work he is a qualified football referee and official mentor attached to the Herts FA. He is also the author and co-author of 15 books on military aviation, primarily focusing on RAF Bomber Command.



Brenda Linger FCICM

Vice President, CICM

Brenda has over 30 years experience in both UK and export credit management.

Brenda is a CICM teacher, and was awarded the ‘unsung hero' award in 2009 for her work in education.

She has served on the Wessex Branch committee, been a member of the Institute's Advisory Council and its Chair between 2003-2005.


Jackie Ray FCICM

Partner - Blaser Mills LLP, CICM Credit Professional of the Year 2016

Jackie Ray is the current CICM Credit Professional of the Year having been shortlisted for the same award in 2014 and 2015.

Jackie is a Partner in the dispute resolution team at Blaser Mills LLP. She is a leading individual in Chambers & Partners 2015 and 2016 edition for Litigation.

She is cited in Legal 500 and her team is ranked within Thames Valley and South East for litigation and debt recovery.


Karen Young

UK Director, Hays Accountancy & Finance

Karen is UK Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance. She provides strategic leadership to a team of 400 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across a network of 100 UK offices including the team of dedicated Hays Credit Management recruiters.

With 20 years of finance recruitment experience, working for this market leading global recruitment firm, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for business' across a range of industry sectors. Extremely passionate about helping people to find the right job, she is also a trusted industry voice on career planning and market insights.