Policy Leadership Board

The Policy Leadership Board provides strategic direction, oversight and challenge to the work of the Policy Leadership Division.

In particular, it oversees and co-ordinates the work of the separate expert panels, the Taxation Board and Strategy & Research Advisory Group, undertakes horizon scanning and prioritisation, and initiates proactive programmes and projects. 

Its main strategic focus is to influence policy developments on behalf of the members and in the public interest, but it is also active in engaging members in our policy work (in accordance with the community aspect of the ICAS strategy), ensuring the relevance to members of the work we do, and with the Ethics Board, building up trust in ICAS and the profession.

Board members

Michael McKeon (Chairman)

Mike MckeonMike retired as an executive director and CFO of FTSE 100 Severn Trent plc in March 2015 having served almost 10 years in the role and a total of 15 years as a public company CFO. During his time with Severn Trent, Mike was engaged in the wider debate on future regulatory change in the water sector and how the industry is to be funded. Mike has extensive international business experience, having worked overseas for CarnaudMetalbox, Elf Atochem and Price Waterhouse. He returned to the UK in 1997 working for Rolls Royce Plc from 1997 to 2000 in various senior roles including Finance Director of the Aerospace Group.

He is currently a non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at National Express Group plc. He is also Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Merchants Trust plc.

Adrienne Airlie

Adrienne AirlieAdrienne became Chief Executive of Martin Aitken & Co Ltd in 2010 following a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions of accountancy practices and independent financial advisers. She has a reputation for being able to explain the complexities of new accounting practices and standards succinctly to businesses and charities and she is Convener of the ICAS Charity Committee and a member of Mercy Corps Global Executive Board. Adrienne advises a wide range of clients, from start-ups to established family-run businesses and from mid-market limited companies to charities and not-for-profit organisations. She advises clients on accounting, statutory audit, tax and business performance issues, as well as corporate governance, regulation and reporting.

Aileen Wright

Aileen Wright Aileen trained with Scott Oswald & Co, worked in Corporate Recovery with KPMG and moved to the then Scottish Office as an "accountancy advisor " at the point when government was starting to think about "proper accounting ".  From initial consideration of the application of accounting standards to central government and the production of the first accruals-based accounts, Aileen has held various roles, including a period as Head of Internal Audit and one leading the programme which successfully implemented International Financial Reporting Standards.

Alex Tait

Alex Tait Alex is Regional Audit Managing Partner, Scotland and North East, having worked for RSM (previously Baker Tilly) for 15 years. Alex has a wide variety of experience in corporate, public sector and not for profit organisations. His specialisms include recruitment industry, property and construction, IT and Technology and PFI/PPP.

Baron Anyangwe

Baron Anyangwe CA Baron Anyangwe is a Senior Consultant at Mutual Ventures, driving the delivery of operational effectiveness and sound financial planning at public sector bodies.

Baron trained with KPMG in London, and since qualification has held a number of finance roles across various industry and service sectors from financial trading to management consultancy.

Baron has a keen interest in new technologies, is a promoter of social innovation and volunteering, and a follower of international development. He is also the trustee of an environmental charity, and provides financial management advice to several charitable organisations on a pro bono basis.

Baron is an ICAS Council Member.

Charlotte Barbour

Charlotte Barbour

Charlotte has worked for ICAS for many years in a range of policy and regulatory roles and for the last three years has supported the ICAS Tax Committee, which has overall responsibility for all tax matters affecting ICAS members and oversight of five technical sub-Committees responsible for Scottish taxes, private client taxes, international taxes, indirect taxes, and small business taxes. She has extensive experience in dealing with tax issues and has represented ICAS at both the Scottish Parliament and the House of Lords, and regularly speaks on both radio and TV.

She is the author of the Bloomsbury book entitled The Management of Taxes in Scotland and she sits as a member of the UK First-tier Tax Tribunal.

David Brownlow

David Brownlow CA David is Head of Finance at Hannover Re UK Life Branch. He has extensive experience across the insurance industry with Aviva, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, PruProtect and BGL.

He is a Chartered Insurer, a member of the Personal Finance Society and a member of the Investment and Life Assurance Group. At ICAS, David is also a member of Council and the London & Home Counties Area Committee.

David Wood

David Wood

David is responsible for all ICAS’ policy and representational work in the fields of accounting, auditing, company law, tax, pensions, charities, ethics, sustainability and public sector accountability and audit.  In particular, he is responsible for the reactive work and proactive initiatives in these areas, and the establishment of the broad strategic themes and policy positions.

David is a mathematics graduate from Cambridge University and is an ICAEW and ICAS member.  He worked for Ernst & Young in England and New Zealand before joining ICAS.

George Cobb

Dr George Cobb

George is a leading sustainability professional who currently holds the position of Group Sustainability Accountant at SSE Plc, a FTSE 35 company based in the UK.  His primary focus is advising executive management on best value capital expenditure decisions which seek to balance the economic, social and environmental concerns of key stakeholders.  Prior to joining SSE, George qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2010 having trained with PwC in Edinburgh. George graduated from the University of Dundee having completed a BAcc, an MA and a PhD, with his postgraduate research published in international accounting journals. George is also the Vice Chair of the Capital Expenditure work stream for The Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability project.

James Barbour

James Barbour James is a CA and Director, Policy Leadership within ICAS and has worked for ICAS since July 1999.  He oversees the work of several ICAS expert panels including Audit and Assurance, Business Policy, Charities, Corporate and Financial Reporting, Pensions, Public Sector and Sustainability. He is also responsible for the ICAS Ethics Board and is the lead on all matters connected with The Power of One initiative.  He is the Technical Adviser to the UK Board Member of IESBA.

He is a member of the Accountancy Europe Professional Ethics and Competences Working Group, the CCAB European Issues Task Force, and is the ICAS Technical Adviser at the FEE Members’ Assembly.  He regularly represents ICAS at high level meetings with standard setting bodies, government bodies, regulators etc.

John Leburn

John Leburn John is currently a Principal Consultant for Exponentiate.uk , providing a wide range of business support services to a varied client base. He is also a non-Executive Director of West College Scotland, a Group Business Mentor with the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and guest lectures in accounting at The Universities of Edinburgh and West of Scotland. He also teaches a practical strategy workshop on the Edinburgh University Business School’s MBA program.

A graduate of Edinburgh University, John has enjoyed a long and varied international career with many blue-chip organisations, spanning sectors such as Audit; FMCG; Infrastructure; Defence; Aerospace, Wines and Spirits, Pensions and SME. He has managed Finance, IT, Business Analysis; Customer Service, Strategic Planning, Consumer Intelligence, Commercial Development, Supply Chain and Investor Relations functions.

John Moffat

John Moffat John was appointed Convener of the ICAS Pensions Committee when it was set up in 2010.  He had previously been a member of its predecessor, the Pensions Working Party.  John is self-employed, trading as JRM Training and Professional Services.  Until October 2015, John worked with Grant Thornton in Scotland for 37 years.  During his period with Grant Thornton, John specialised in auditing and financial reporting, in relation to large unquoted private companies, pension schemes, solicitors and similar professional service organisations.

Throughout his professional career John has had a very close involvement with ICAS.  He has been a member of the ICAS Business Policy Committee and served on AAT Council as an ICAS nominated member for 5 years.  John also delivers training courses for BPP, as part of its partnership with ICAS.

Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans is Professor of Accounting in the Division of Accounting and Finance at Stirling Management School, University of Stirling.

Lisa has previously held positions at the University of Edinburgh and at Napier University (Edinburgh). She is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and holds a PhD in Accounting from the University of Reading.

She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. She is a member of the Management Committee of the European Accounting Association and has previously served as editor of the EAA’s journal Accounting in Europe and as a member of the EAA’s Financial Reporting Standards Committee.

Her research interests include international accounting and audit regulation and interdisciplinary accounting research, in particular in accounting history, the accounting profession and the interfaces between accounting and law and accounting and language.

Michelle Crickett

Michelle Crickett, Director of Research Michelle Crickett is Director of Research at ICAS.  Originally from Cumbria, Michelle studied at Edinburgh University for a Bcom Hons degree in Business Studies and Accounting. Following graduation she worked, for a year, for Professor Steve Walker as a Research Assistant in accounting history at Edinburgh University before commencing her CA training.

Michelle trained as a Chartered Accountant with a small Edinburgh firm of accountants (T Hunter Thomson) and qualified as a member of ICAS in 1998.  After qualification Michelle moved to a medium sized firm of accountants in Edinburgh (Chiene + Tait) and worked in the audit department and subsequently as the Technical Manager for the firm.

Paul Hally

Paul Hally Paul is Chairman of Shepherd and Wedderburn and is a corporate and restructuring partner. He is also a licensed Insolvency Practitioner with over 25 years' experience in the area. He works in the Energy and Financial sectors and has a particular specialism is complex restructuring and insolvency work involving the application of his wide range of banking, insolvency and corporate experience. Paul also acts as a reporter to the Court of Session in Edinburgh on significant corporate transactions. He is a founder member of and active in  S + W’s international network, the World Services Group.

Neil Gilbert

Neil Gilbert TPB Neil is Group Tax manager with Standard Life and has been with them for 26 years. Neil specialises in corporate tax, employment taxes and tax reporting. During his time with Standard Life Neil has worked across the company providing corporate tax advice on M&A activity and other corporate transactions both in the UK and internationally in Asia, Europe and North America.

In recent years Neil has worked on the development of tax policy and tax strategy. Neil has been a member of the ICAS Tax Committee for a number of years and is the Convener of that committee. Previously he was convener of the Scottish Taxes sub-committee. Neil also sponsors the TOPP scheme at Standard Life. Outside work Neil is married with two daughters and is a keen gardener, photographer and armchair football fan.

Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson

Philip was a senior partner in the Deloitte UK firm, having retired in 2007 after being a partner for 30 years.  At Deloitte he was an elected member of the UK Board of Partners and the first chairman of the firm’s Audit Committee. Philip was head of Quality and Risk Management for the UK audit practice of Deloitte from 2003 until his retirement from the firm in 2007

Philip was the President of the Federation of European Accountants (FEE) during 2011 and 2012. During this time he was also a member of the IAASB Consulting Advisory Group (CAG) and the IESBA CAG.  Philip is a member of the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in the US.

From May 2007 to April 2015, Philip was a non-executive director of Yorkshire Building Society where he also chaired the audit committee.  He is a member of the audit committee of Wellcome Trust  and a member of the audit committee of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). He is a non-executive director of Lakeland Limited, a retail kitchenware company based in the UK, a governor at The Manchester College and chairs the board of governors at Cheadle Hulme School.  He is also an advisor on auditing matters to the UK Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee.


  • Committees and boards

Previous page