The Board of the Law Commission is responsible for its strategic governance. The Board consists of the Chair, four other Commissioners, the Chief Executive, up to three Non-Executive Board Members, the Head of Legal Services and the Head of Corporate Services.

The Legal Team Managers and Senior Parliamentary Counsel attend the Board in an advisory capacity.

The full Terms of Reference for the Board can be viewed here.

The Chair is either a High Court or an Appeal Court judge, appointed to the Commission by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice for up to three years.

The other four Commissioners are experienced judges, barristers, solicitors or teachers of law.  They are appointed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice for up to five years, although their appointments may be extended.

Commissioners are appointed on a full-time basis, but may on occasions undertake other work including judicial training or judicial service.

One of the recommendations of the 2013 Triennial Review of the Law Commission was that the Commission would benefit from the introduction of up to two Non-Executive Board Members, who would provide support, independent challenge and expertise on issues of governance and strategic management.

The selection of projects and the content of Law Commission reports and consultation papers are, however, the responsibility of the Commissioners.

The Commissioners are supported by a Chief Executive and about 20 members of the Government Legal Service, two Parliamentary Counsel (who draft the Bills to reform and consolidate the law), and a number of research assistants, who are usually recently qualified law graduates.


The Chair promotes the role and work of the Law Commission and is its principal public face. He or she leads the Commissioners and represents their views to Ministers and other stakeholders. The Chair also leads on particular law reform projects and has special responsibility for overseeing the Commission’s consolidation and statute law repeals work.

Sir Peter Fraser

Sir Peter was appointed as Chair on 1 December 2023. Sir Peter was educated at Harrogate Grammar School in Yorkshire and St John’s College at the University of Cambridge (where he took both an MA in Law and a LL.M). He was called to the Bar in 1989 by Middle Temple and practised from Atkin Chambers between 1990 and 2015 when he was appointed to the King’s Bench Division. As a barrister he specialised in international arbitration, technology, engineering and construction disputes. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2002 and QC in 2009. He sits both as a judge of the Technology and Construction Court (being judge in Charge from 2017 to 2020) and the Commercial Court.


Professor Sarah Green

Professor Green was appointed as Law Commissioner for commercial and common law on 01 January 2020. She was previously Professor of Private Law at the University of Bristol.  Prior to that, she was Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford, and, before that, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham from 2001 – 2010.

Professor Green has written about a variety of issues including virtual currencies, blockchain issues surrounding intermediated securities, smart contracts, sale of goods law as applicable to digitised assets, and wage theft.

Professor Nicholas Hopkins

Professor Hopkins was appointed as Law Commissioner for property, family and trust law on 1 October 2015. On 27 May 2020 it was announced that he had been reappointed for a further term and will serve until September 2025. Amongst other projects, he has led the Commission’s work on Updating the Land Registration Act 2002, Technical Issues in Charity Law, Enforcement of Family Financial Orders and Weddings law. Ongoing projects include Residential Leasehold and Commonhold, Making a Will and Surrogacy (a joint project with the Scottish Law Commission). Prior to appointment as Commissioner, he was an academic for over 20-years.

Professor Hopkins is Professor of Law at Reading University and an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple.

Professor Penney Lewis

Professor Lewis was appointed as Law Commissioner for criminal law on 01 January 2020. Professor Lewis was formerly Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics in the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. She became Reader in Law in 2005, and Professor of Law in 2007.

Professor Lewis is a member of the Board of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA). Her research covers criminal evidence and procedure, focusing on prosecutions for historic childhood sexual abuse and the law governing corroborative and supporting evidence. She has also published widely in the field of medical law, with a particular interest in the relationship between the criminal law and medicine.

Professor Alison Young

Professor Young was appointed as Law Commissioner with responsibility for public law and law in Wales on 18 March 2023. She is the Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Robinson College. She is also an academic associate at 39 Essex Chambers and an Emeritus Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.

Before joining the University of Cambridge, Professor Young studied for a Law (with French) degree at the University of Birmingham, spending a year at the Université de Limoges. She then completed the BCL and D Phil at Hertford College, University of Oxford. She spent three years as a Tutorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning to Hertford as a Fellow in Law and later Professor of Public Law at the University of Oxford.

A list of previous Law Commissioners is available here. 

Code of Best Practice for Law Commissioners

Our Commissioners follow a Code of Best Practice which incorporates the principles in the Cabinet Office Code of Best Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies.

In accordance with the Code, a Register of Board Member’s Interests is available.

Non-Executive Board Members

Baroness Shaista Gohir 

Baroness Gohir has worked in the charity sector for nearly twenty years and is a leading women’s rights campaigner. She is the CEO of the national charity Muslim Women’s Network UK and, in 2022, was appointed to the House of Lords as a Crossbench Peer.  

Shaista has served on various national and international advisory groups and boards and was previously a Non-Executive Director at the University Hospital North Midlands NHS Trust where she was the Maternity Safety Champion. She was also the Women’s Voices Lead at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Claire Bassett

Claire is Vice Chair of the Internet Watch Foundation, Interim Chair and Non-Executive Director of the Serious Fraud Office and a Non-Executive Director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Chartered Insurance Institute. 

Until May 2022 she was Deputy Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Prior to this Claire was Chief Executive (Designate) of the Shadow Trade Remedies Authority, and Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission. Claire has also been Chief Executive at the Parole Board and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  

Earlier in her career, Claire was a Director of Nacro and Chief Executive of Connexions Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. She also held various roles at the Legal Services Commission and began her career as a management trainee in the construction industry. 

Dr Hannah White

Dr Hannah White is currently Director and Chief Executive of the Institute of Government, having previously led the secretariat for the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Cabinet Office), and held various senior roles in the House of Commons. She has a range of executive and non-executive board experience.   

Hannah has a PhD in Human Geography. She started her career as a parliamentary clerk in the House of Commons, working on select and legislative committees and advising on parliamentary procedure. 

Chief Executive

Joanna Otterburn and Stephanie Hack are joint Chief Executives of the Commission.

Structure of the Law Commission

This chart shows the structure of the organisation and the pay bands into which our staff fall.