PN 06/13 Ofwat welcomes new Board members


17 May 2013

Following today’s announcement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Ofwat welcomes the appointment of Chris Burchell, Martin Lawrence and Professor Catherine Waddams to its Board.

Jonson Cox, Chairman of the Ofwat Board, said:

“We welcome the appointments of Chris Burchell, Martin Lawrence and Catherine Waddams, and the expertise that they will bring to strengthen the Ofwat Board.

“The water and wastewater sector is facing a period of significant challenge and change, and we look forward to the valuable contribution that we know they will bring to our work”.

Biographical details

Christopher Burchell is currently Managing Director at Southern Railway, and has spent the majority of his career so far in the rail industry, starting as a management trainee for Railtrack’s Great Western Zone in 1996. Chris has previously held roles with Railtrack, Thames Train Ltd and Govia (Southern).

Chris joined Southern less than a year into the new franchise and just before its re-branding. This was a time of immense change within the business and the performance of the operations function saw a continuous improvement in difficult circumstances. During his first two years at Southern, Chris transformed the company’s resilience and performance.

In 2006 Chris was promoted to the position of Managing Director at Southern following Govia’s successful bid for the Southeastern franchise. In September 2009, Chris helped Govia to win the competition to retain the South Central Franchise. Since then, Southern has continued to grow to become an award winning and innovative franchise.

Chris also spent a short time with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was appointed as Chairman of the railway’s cross-industry National Task Force in 2010. Chris studied French at the University of Kent at Canterbury and at Lyon III University and is married with three children.

Martin Lawrence is the Managing Director, Energy Sourcing and Customer Supply of EDF Energy, the UK’s largest power generator, where he is responsible for all UK Fossil Generation, Renewables and Trading activities as well as all Commercial operations, including the B2C and B2B businesses. Martin is a member of the Executive Team, which is responsible for directing and executing company policy.

Martin joined the company in February 2007 from Shell where he held a number of senior management positions around the globe. This included a series of planning, trading and strategy roles for its Global downstream business, followed by a number of Senior General Manager positions in Turkey, Gibraltar and Switzerland before moving to London as Vice President for Shell’s oil products trading activities all around the world.

Martin was subsequently appointed as Chief Executive of Shell’s downstream activities in Latin America, based out of Buenos Aires in Argentina after which he returned to Europe in 2005 as a senior member of the corporate strategy and M&A team.

Martin studied Mathematics at Oxford University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is married to Kathryn and has two children. He resides in Cobham, Surrey.

Catherine Waddams (formerly Price) is Professor in Norwich Business School and a member of the ESRC Centre for Competition at the University of East Anglia. She was formerly founding Director of the Centre for Management under Regulation and Professor in Warwick Business School, and prior to that senior lecturer in economics at the University of Leicester. She has held visiting positions at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Cambridge and is a joint academic director of the Centre for Regulation in Europe.

Her research interests are in the area of Industrial Organisation, and she has published widely on privatisation, regulation and the introduction of competition, especially in energy markets. Her current research focus is on the distributional impact of regulatory reform, and consumer choice in newly opened markets, both in the UK and elsewhere.

Catherine has worked with the World Bank, the OECD, government departments and sector regulators in the UK and overseas and was a part time reporting member of the UK Competition Commission from 2001-2009.

Catherine is training to be a Reader in the Diocese of Norwich and is married with two adult children.

Notes to editors:

  1. Ofwat is the economic regulator of water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. It exercises its powers in a way that it judges will protect the interests of consumers, promote value and safeguard future water and sewerage services by allowing efficient companies to carry out their functions properly, and finance them.
  2. The appointments mean that Ofwat’s Board will comprise: Chairman Jonson Cox, Chris Burchell, Martin Lawrence, Catherine Waddams, Wendy Barnes, Penny Boys, Robin Paynter Bryant and executive directors Regina Finn, Keith Mason and Sonia Brown.
  3. The appointments commence on 1 May 2013 and run for three years.
  4. Media enquiries to Ofwat Press Office on:
    Harbinder Babra on 0121 644 7616 / [email protected]
    Simon Markall on 0121 644 7696 / [email protected]