Andrew Clemes

Assistant Commissioner

Andrew Clemes is a part-time Judge of the First-tier Tribunal sitting in the Social Entitlement Chamber to hear appeals against decisions of the Department of Work and Pensions about benefits related to disability and fitness to work. He also sits as a Judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber where he hears appeals against Home Office decisions and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal where he hears appeals against decisions of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. 

Andrew also chairs fitness to practise committees of the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal, is a lay member for similar committees at the General Dental Council and is a Legal Assessor for the General Pharmaceutical Council. He is also a Legally Qualified Chair for Police Misconduct hearings in Wales, the East of England and the North East of England. He is a former lay panellist for the Nursing and Midwifery Council. He is an Independent Member for hearing Service Complaints for the Ministry of Defence. Andrew was a Law Tutor at Swansea University until 2020 and was a Barrister undertaking Criminal cases until 2001. He was called to the Bar in 1984 and is a member of Gray’s Inn. He lives in Swansea with his family.

Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies

Assistant Commissioner

Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies is originally from Bangor but now lives with her husband and four children in Llanerfyl, Powys. She studied French and Spanish at Oxford and lived for a while in Galicia and Brussels before completing a MScEcon and PhD in Political Theory at Cardiff University where she also taught as a politics tutor. After being elected to represent Riverside on Cardiff County Council in 2004, she worked as Office Manager for Leanne Wood MS in the Rhondda before being appointed Plaid Cymru’s Chief Executive in 2007. In 2011, she was appointed as a Publications Officer for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol at Aberystwyth University where she was also responsible for its research journal, ‘Gwerddon’. She became Chief Executive of Mudiad Meithrin in September 2014. Mudiad Meithrin is a voluntary organisation and is the main provider and enabler of Welsh-medium early years care and education in the voluntary sector with over 1000 settings (Welsh-medium playgroups / parent and toddler groups / ‘Cymraeg for Kids’ groups and nurseries) all over the country. Gwenllian is a Trustee with the National Library of Wales and volunteers at her local Cylch Meithrin on the committee.

Steven Phillips

Assistant Commissioner

Steven Phillips was Chief Executive and Electoral Registration/Returning Officer of Neath Port Talbot Council for 11 years until his retirement at the end of 2020. Prior to that he held senior positions at both Cardiff County Council, the Welsh Government and the Welsh Office before devolution. Earlier in his career he worked in a variety of UK Government roles in London, the North East of England and overseas including trade policy, urban regeneration and financial regulation. 

He lives in Cardiff and holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA).

Dr Arun Midha

Assistant Commissioner

Arun was brought up in Gowerton and studied at a number of Universities (Swansea, Cardiff and Oxford) completing a PhD in the 1990s. Following a number of years in the University sector firstly with the University of Wales College of Medicine and then Cardiff, Arun has built a portfolio of non-executive and lay member roles in the fields of regulation, standards, governance, health and education. He is currently a lay member on the Select Committee on Standards, House of Commons, Independent Chair of Retrospective continuing health care reviews in Wales and England and a member of the General Pharmaceutical council. Previous roles have included member of the General Medical Council serving as its Treasurer, and member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. Arun has served as a Justice of the Peace and was also High Sheriff of South Glamorgan in 2012. Arun was also a Trustee of the Welsh rugby charitable trust. He is a Governor of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr and an Assessor of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education. He is an active supporter of the Charities Save the Children and Street Child United. He is a season ticket holder with Swansea City FC. 

Mr Huw Vaughan Thomas CBE

Huw Vaughan Thomas CBE spent his early years in Abertridwr. Educated in Essex, he studied Modern History at Durham University and Management Sciences at City University, London. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Huw has worked in a number of public sector roles, initially in the Department of Employment and Manpower Services including Regional Director for South West England and Director for Wales. In 1991 he was appointed Chief Executive of Gwynedd County Council, and following local government re-organisation became Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council.

Prior to being appointed Auditor General for Wales in 2010, Huw ran his own consultancy company specialising in governance and policy evaluation. He also served on a number of public sector and voluntary organisations including the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Hearing Aid Council, RNID, Law Society Council and the Parole Board.  He was a member of the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly of Wales, and chaired the Big Lottery Fund in Wales.

Awarded a CBE for services to Public Audit and Accountability in Wales in 2018, Huw lives in North Wales and is a Reader in the Church in Wales.

Mr Sam A Hartley

Sam Hartley is an experienced public sector senior leader, specialising in working for independent arm's-length bodies. His background is in the constitutional and regulatory fields and he currently leads an advisory ALB in the aviation sector.

Prior to taking this role, he led the Boundary Commission for England, delivering the most recent review of Parliamentary boundaries in late 2018. He has also had senior roles in healthcare, constitutional and electoral regulators, as well as in the Cabinet Office.

He sits as an independent member on the Audit and Risk Committee for the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, and is Chair of Governors at his children’s school.   

Mrs Justice Jefford DBE

Mrs Justice Jefford DBE was born and brought up in Swansea.  She was educated at Olchfa Comprehensive School in Swansea before studying law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and at the University of Virginia, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Mrs Justice Jefford was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1986 and practised at Keating Chambers in London, specialising in construction and engineering law.  She was appointed as a Recorder in 2007 and as Queen’s Counsel in 2008.  She was appointed a High Court Judge in 2016.  In 2020 she was appointed a Presiding Judge of the Wales circuit.  

 Mrs Justice Jefford has maintained her links with Wales through long-standing membership of the London Welsh Chorale and her involvement with the Association of London Welsh Lawyers and the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust.