CIVEA welcomes the appointment of Chris Nichols to Enforcement Conduct Board

CIVEA welcomes the appointment of Chris Nichols to Enforcement Conduct Board.

  • Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive of CIVEA, welcomes the appointment of Chris Nichols as Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB) CEO.
  • The ECB was launched last year in collaboration with the civil enforcement industry and with support from the Centre for Social Justice.
  • The ECB Business Plan sets out how the new body will provide independent and objective oversight of civil enforcement work.

CIVEA is the principal trade association that represents the civil enforcement industry in England and Wales and was instrumental in designing the blueprint for the independent Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB).

A unique partnership between the debt advice sector and the enforcement industry, with support from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has led to the establishment of the ECB to bring independent, objective, and effective supervision against a backdrop of increasing household debt and unpaid government revenues.

Following the appointment of Catherine Brown as ECB Chair last year, Chris Nichols has now been announced as the organisation’s first Chief Executive Officer. He previously held policy and operational roles at the Bar Standards Board (regulating barristers) and at the Ministry of Justice before most recently serving as Director of Policy and Regulation at the Legal Services Board.

Chris is working alongside ECB non-executive Board members to develop a strategy for the oversight body. His first task has been to consult on a Business Plan that builds on the original framework for independent oversight, including a timetable for implementation. This move has been welcomed by CIVEA as it represents a further step in the right direction, encouraging the ECB to work closely with the enforcement industry and debt advice sector to deliver on ensuring that all those experiencing enforcement action are treated fairly.

Russell Hamblin-Boone, CIVEA Chief Executive said:

“We welcome the appointment of Chris Nichols as the first ECB CEO and look forward to working with him as the ECB continues delving into the nuances of modern enforcement practices. The ECB remains in a unique position where it can investigate evidence and provide education on the enforcement process. A clear strategy with foundations rooted in collaboration can only be good for the industry and CIVEA is excited to continue supporting this mission.”

The Enforcement Conduct Board represents the next step in reforms led by CIVEA members to help professionalise the enforcement industry, which has involved raising of standards, supporting vulnerable people and establishing an independent complaints procedure to empower individuals. CIVEA members are committed to work with the ECB to drive up standards and protect those struggling with problem debt.


Notes for editors:

CIVEA is the principal trade association representing civil enforcement agencies employing over

1700 certificated enforcement agents that operate in England and Wales.

CIVEA represents approximately 40 companies that make up more than 95% of the entire enforcement industry. CIVEA’s members work to enforce civil debt on behalf of local authorities and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) including council tax, business rates, road traffic and parking penalties, magistrates’ court fines, employment tribunal awards, child support payments, B2B and commercial rent arrears. This amounts to over £550 million (half a billion) of unpaid taxes and fines recovered each year at no cost to the public bodies themselves. Each year CIVEA members receive c5 million warrants and court orders for payments owed to central and local government.

The Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB) officially launched in November 2022. The new body provides independent and objective oversight of civil enforcement work.

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