IMPRESS announces new regulatory lay members

24 August 2020. IMPRESS has announced new regulatory lay members.* Regulatory lay members are non-Board members, independently appointed by the Appointments Panel to sit on Regulatory Committees alongside Board members and advise on regulatory outcomes.

Regulatory Committees are a central part of the IMPRESS complaints process. They meet to adjudicate on complaints that are made to IMPRESS or are initiated by IMPRESS, about the published content, news gathering activities or internal governance standards of regulated publications.

All regulatory lay members are highly experienced in journalism or media law, have experience of fair and impartial decision-making and are independent of the press and government. Recently appointed Regulatory Lay Members are:

  • Professor Claire de Than: award-winning senior legal academic of more than 25 years’ standing, and a Jersey Law Commissioner, currently working on a Criminal Code and on laws relating to open justice.
  • Chris Elliott: journalist with over 40 years of experience on UK regional and national newspapers. Former readers’ editor at the Guardian.
  • Ato Erzan-Essien:  senior lecturer in Journalism at the University of Chester. Former editor of The Big Issue in the North magazine, reporter for the Lancashire Evening Post, among other titles.
  • Conor Heaney: solicitor in private practice in Northern Ireland since 1997; with experience acting on behalf of claimants in defamation actions and civil proceedings.
  • Paul Herbert: practising solicitor of 35 years' experience, most of which in media law.
  • Rachel Matthews: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and chair of the Local and Community Media Network of the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association.
  • Liz Munro: journalist with over 30 years’ experience in broadcast and print media. Former Head of Editorial Compliance across BBC English Regions’ 12 television and 39 radio stations.

More information about the Regulatory Lay Members and their experience is available on our website.


IMPRESS regulates 150+ publications in the UK. We provide publishers and journalists with the protection and support they need to do their job. We offer complaints adjudication, free arbitration, a comprehensive insurance scheme and a progressive Standards Code, as well as an open code review process in which all members of the public can take part. We work in partnership with the public, publishers and key stakeholders to raise the standards of journalism.

Media enquiries

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*Please note, Regulatory Lay Members are now referred to as Supplementary Regulatory Committee Members.