Judging Panel 2018
Stephen Baister (Chair of Judges)
Stephen Baister was admitted as a solicitor in 1981 and became a licensed insolvency practitioner in 1985. He was appointed as a bankruptcy registrar of the High Court in 1996 and as chief bankruptcy registrar in 2004. He retired in 2017 and now works as a strategic adviser for Manolete Partners LLP and as a consultant for Moon Beever. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, an honorary member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management of which he is also the President.
Amir Ali - 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.
Lesley Batchelor OBE - Director General of the Institute of Export (IOE)
A champion of UK exporters, Lesley has helped hundreds of small businesses to maximise their involvement in international markets. Lesley is a graduate of both the Institute of Qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, has studied as an intellectual property auditor and has additional expertise in global licensing and marketing.
Lesley spent over 15 years working with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe, Canon, Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals and Coca-Cola Europe, before setting up her own strategy and training company, CMC Marketing in 1992 working to develop strategies and training programmes for the SME market.
Lesley has featured on national TV and radio and in print media, commenting on export and trading issues and highlighting the status of the Institute of Export (IOE) as the only professional body in the UK offering recognised, formal qualifications in international trade.
Appointed director general of the IOE in 2010 after a three-year elected tenure as chairman and CEO, Lesley Batchelor has amassed a powerful track record in international trade and export marketing.
Glenn Collins - Head of Technical Advisory at ACCA
Glenn Collins is Head of Technical Advisory at ACCA. He is responsible for advice and support to ACCA members on a range of issues, including audit, financial reporting, business and credit advice, taxation, company and business law, ethics, export and access to finance.
A Fellow of ACCA, Glenn Collins spent 16 years in public practice, specialising in audit and business advice, before joining ACCA where he has worked for over 17 years.
Alongside providing advice to finance professionals, Glenn Collins also liaises closely with UK government departments, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, BEIS, Department for International trade and also agencies like the Charity Commission and Pensions Regulator. He also leads ACCA's support for small and medium practitioners and is a member of numerous small business, tax and charity groups.
Matthew Davies - Director of Communication and Government Affairs, UK Finance
UK Finance represents nearly 300 of the leading firms providing finance, banking, markets and payments-related services in or from the UK. UK Finance was formed in July 2017, bringing together most of the activities of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the British Bankers' Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.
Matthew is Director in the Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending division of UK Finance. At any one time, the invoice finance and asset based lending industry represented by UK Finance will be providing around £19 billion of funding to around 42,000 businesses in the real economy. The industry supports businesses of all sizes and has particular expertise in supporting small and mid-sized businesses. Prior to the formation of UK Finance Matthew was at the ABFA which he joined in 2011 as Head of Government Affairs and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 2015. He joined the association from the specialist Westminster law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, where he was joint-head of public affairs, advising clients in the financial services, healthcare, transport, retail and infrastructure sectors. Before joining Bircham Dyson Bell he was a director at DLA Piper's Global Government Relations practice (formerly known as DLA Upstream) where his clients ranged widely from financial services businesses to overseas governments. Matthew sits on the CICM's Technical Committee.
Sean Feast - Director, Gravity London
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.
Adrian Hyde - President of R3
Adrian is an Insolvency Practitioner and a solicitor. Prior to joining CVR, he was a Partner in two well-known law firms, specialising in insolvency, proceeds of crime and fraud work.
Experienced in working on a wide range of insolvency matters, the majority of Adrian's assignments involve crime or dishonesty and many involve overseas issues at offshore jurisdictions and business centres.
Adrian has been splitting his time between London and Gibraltar while working on the liquidation of an international law firm. This has provided an opportunity to focus on the expansion of CVR's international business and has led to an increasing amount of international work.
Adrian is President of R3, the UK trade body representing the insolvency profession.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (FCICM) Debbie joined Arvato in 2013 to boost growth in the public sector and contact centre markets. Leading business development in Contact Centre markets for Arvato UK and Ireland she has over 25 years' experience working in the collections industry (Utilities, Retail, Public Sector and Automotive), working with clients to deliver business solutions and transformation. Debbie specialities in the areas of business value realisation and business growth.
Charles Wilson FCICM
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 Law Society.
He is married, lives in Sussex, and has four grown-up children. He and his wife enjoy touring Europe on their motorcycle in the summer when he's not exploring the beauty of Sussex golf courses.
Karen Young - Director, Hays Accountancy & Finance
Karen is 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 specialist team of dedicated Hays Credit Management recruiters.
With over 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 recruitment and job market insights.