Board members - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

Board members

The Board comprises a Chairperson, three elected lawyer members and three lay members. The Chairperson and lay members of the Board are nominated by the Attorney-General and appointed by the Governor in Council for a four-year term. Lawyer members are elected by lawyers who are registered on the Board’s electoral roll, also for a four-year term. One lawyer member is a barrister (advocate member) and two are solicitors (non-advocate members). The day-to-day activities of the Board are headed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Ms Fiona Bennett – Non-lawyer  member
Fiona is a non-executive director of Hills Ltd and Select Harvests Ltd. She is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in commercial and financial management, governance, risk management and auditing. Fiona has held senior executive positions at BHP Billiton Ltd and Coles Group Ltd, and has been Chief Financial Officer of several organisations in the health sector. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. Fiona was appointed to the Board in January 2008 and was appointed as Chairperson of the Board by the Attorney-General in January 2013. Fiona was re-appointed Chairperson on 30 November 2016.

Ms Catherine Wolthuizen – Non-lawyer member
Catherine brings her considerable experience as a consumer advocate and ombudsman to the Board. She is the Independent Customer Advocate at NAB, where her role includes making decisions about complex and sensitive complaints and advising on how to improve complaints handling and the customer experience. She is also an independent consumer representative to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Catherine was previously an Ombudsman and Head of Market Affairs at the UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service, where she made decisions in more than 2,500 cases, and led external engagement for that organisation. Catherine is a former CEO of the Consumer Law Centre Victoria (which later became the Consumer Action Legal Centre) and was Senior Policy Officer at Choice, and is a former Chair of the Consumers Federation of Australia. As well as running a human rights legal NGO and the UK’s whistleblower NGO, she was also a member of the Legal Services Consumer Panel in England – the expert advisory body to the UK’s Legal Services Board.

Ms Cate Dealehr – Solicitor (non-advocate) member
Cate is a lawyer with over 33 years’ experience, and is the principal of the Australian Legal Costing Group. Cate is an expert in the field of the Uniform Law and is one of the few accredited specialists in costs law. Cate tutors at Leo Cussen Centre for Law and takes special pride in mentoring young lawyers. Her service was acknowledged in 2014 with the LIV pro bono/access to justice award winner and by receiving  a 2016 LIV Certificate of Service for her outstanding service to the legal profession. Cate is a passionate advocate for women in law, business and politics. Her roles have included director of the International Women’s Federation of Commerce & Industry, and  for being a founder of an annual scholarship for leadership in politics for women. Cate is a fellow of Leadership Victoria and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Cate was elected to the Board in 2014.

Mr Peter Jopling AM QC – Barrister (advocate) member
Peter is a Queen’s Counsel specialising in commercial law and trade practices law. He was admitted to practice in 1978 and signed the Victorian roll in 1980. Peter served as an Associate to High Court Justices Sir Keith Aickin and Sir Ninian Stephen. He was appointed QC in 1996. Peter has held positions as director, member and chair for a range of organisations and committees. He is currently a Governor of the Florey Neurosciences Institutes, director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art, member of the Victorian College of the Arts Foundation, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Ethical Leadership at the University of Melbourne, and a director of the Menzies Foundation. Peter was first elected to the Board in 2010 and again in 2014.

Ms Cate Wood – Non-lawyer member
Cate is an experienced Director who holds positions on numerous Boards, providing a depth of knowledge in governance, investment, strategic planning and diversity. A current director and Chair of the industry superannuation fund, CareSuper, Cate is a director on several other superannuation industry boards, and is also a director of the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation. She has previously held executive positions as CEO of AGEST Super and The Trade Union Training Authority. Cate holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) and is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. Cate was appointed to the Board by the Governor in Council in August 2016. Cate was appointed to the Board in 2016.

Mr Steven Stevens – Solicitor (non-advocate) member
Steven joined the Board in July 2013 as an elected legal practitioner representative. He is also a Member of the Legal Services Council, established in 2014 under the Legal Profession Uniform Law. Steven is a former President of the LIV and Director of the Law Council of Australia; and is currently President of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association. He has been the Chair of the Law Council’s Professional Ethics Committee since 2009 and was Co-Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA)’s Professional Ethics Committee in 2016. Steven is an Australian tax practitioner specialising in the taxation of financial services and in state taxation. He is a former tax partner at Herbert Smith Freehills. Prior to commencing legal practice in 1988, Steven practised for 12 years as an economist and was a senior Victorian Treasury officer. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and The Tax Institute. Steven was first elected to the Board in 2013 to fill a short vacancy, and re-elected in 2014.

Dr Lynne Williams AM – Non-lawyer member
Lynne is an economist with over 30 years’ experience with the public sector, and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Essential Services Commission of South Australia and a Commissioner with both the Commonwealth Grants Commission and the Victorian Building Authority. Lynne was previously the Chair of the Victorian Government Procurement Board for six years and has previously held senior executive roles within several government departments. Lynne has Masters degrees in economics from the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics, a PhD from Monash University and is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. Lynne was appointed to the Board by the Governor in Council in October 2013.


Last modified April 16, 2018.