IPSE Consultative Council

The IPSE Consultative Council (CC) is an advisory body elected annually from the IPSE membership. Members of the CC monitor, support and inform the board of issues raised by the membership, particularly in the regular CC meetings.


IPSE Consultative Council welcome dinner and meeting

IPSE Consultative Council Members 2017

Matthew Searle

Deputy Chairman, Chairman of the Consultative Council

Matt has worked in IT since 1998, first as a consultant for Oracle Corporation, and then as a contractor from 2006 onwards.

Originally graduating in Management (specialising in IT solutions for business), Matt has worked in a range of roles with Oracle technology, including DBA, integration specialist, functional / hybrid / technical consultant, workflow expert and trainer. Matt has also presented at the UK Oracle User Group annual conferences. In fact, his presentation on 15 years of bad business process automation won both the Best New UK Speaker and the Best UK Speaker awards in 2014.

Based in east Lancashire, Matt lives with his wife and two daughters, and as they approach teenage years is looking forward to finding a long-term role away from home.

Louise Allen


Louise has been freelancing since 2005, working as a business process and data analyst across a number of industries in both the public and private sectors.

A keen promoter of the freelance way of working and a member of IPSE since 2006, she joined the Consultative Council in 2017 to get more involved in the issues facing the self-employed workforce.

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Andrew Daines

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Andrew Watt

Andrew is a freelance analyst specialising in technology and business change.

Since leaving the UK in 1998 to start a contracting career in The Netherlands, Andrew has worked around the world in industries as diverse as upstream oil and gas, sports apparel production and financial services.

Now based in Glasgow, Andrew has been an active member of IPSE since 2003. He first served on IPSE’s Consultative Council between 2007 and 2009, and was then re-elected for 2009-2011 and 2012-2014. He has served on a number of working parties, committees and review panels over the years, and looks forward to many more in future.

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Barry Raphael
Barry Raphael spent years working as an Accountant in South Africa. Coming to the UK in 2000, he has subsequently run his own business as an IT Consultant, with a special interest in Virtual Infrastructure and Cloud Technologies.
His focus has been within Financial & Cloud Services, Retail and Tertiary Education.
Since joining the Consultative Council, he has taken his responsibility to his fellow IPSE Members very seriously, with particular concern to Governance and Financial controls.

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Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews is a seasoned IP professional with a strong background in software engineering. He went freelance in 1997 and now provides Agile, Lean and DevOps consultancy and digital transformation to large corporate customers and key government agencies.
He joined what was PCG when it was founded to help fight about the original IR35 legislation. He was motivated to joined the CC in 2017 after losing a major piece of work with a government client when they classified all contractors as inside of IR35, despite 12 pages of due diligence suggesting the opposite.
Chris is keen to see IPSE challenge the application of the off-payroll regulations in areas where it has been applied without considering the circumstances of the worker. This is in contravention of the Finance Act. He will oppose any further measures that prevent us from operating as the genuine businesses that we are.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pwcmatthews/

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Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams is a software engineer, and has been an independent contractor since 1996. He specialises in object oriented design and development in C++, with a particular interest in open‑source solutions.

He joined IPSE in May 1999 and volunteered for its first committee. He was then elected Chairman for 2000/1, and subsequently served as Deputy Chairman and Director of External Affairs. He stood down from the IPSE board in May 2003.

Gareth is married with eight children.

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Marc Roberts

Since graduating in Engineering, Marc has been working in IT for the last 17 years, implementing a range of SAP Supply Chain projects. In his long and successful career, he has worked on projects across Europe, North America and Australia and for companies in the automotive, FMCG and oil and gas industries.

He took his first contract role as a project manager in 2005 and joined IPSE soon after. He was elected onto the Consultative Council in 2015.

Marc lives with his wife in South Wales.

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Toby Anscombe

With over 20 years’ experience delivering digital and IT projects, Toby has enjoyed a successful career in both the public and private sectors. He has worked in a wide range of technology, consulting and strategy roles, and gained experience of numerous delivery methodologies including digital and agile.

In the course of his career, Toby has led the design and development of enterprise business solutions across many sectors such as finance, intelligence, law-enforcement and defence. It’s allowed him to develop the skills and relationships to stand him in good stead for his tenure as Secretary of the CC.

Keen to promote the benefits of becoming an independent professional or freelancer, Toby has successfully convinced many others to take the leap into self-employment and hopes to represent the many and varied views of IPSE’s members as best he can.

Outside work, Toby is a qualified oenophile and has organised many successful wine tasting (and drinking!) events in and around London.

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Michael White

Michael is a Chartered Electrical Engineer who has led the design of numerous major projects across the retail, commercial and pharmaceutical sectors.

Since becoming a freelancer 15 years ago, he has come to specialise in designing data centres and has built up a wealth of expertise in the area. He is now working on ways to both improve the energy efficiency and reduce the capital cost of future data centres.

Michael joined IPSE in 2000 and was elected onto the Consultative Council in May 2014.

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Phil Ross

Philip was one of IPSE’s founding members in 1999, and served as External Affairs Director on its first board. He worked to both lobby the government and help deal with the media. He also personally met with government ministers including Dawn Primarolo and helped IPSE successfully change the original IR35 proposals.

Later, on IPSE's behalf, he joined the Home Office’s skills panel and helped to persuade them to effectively close down their damaging fast-track visa scheme. He has documented much of this in his book - 'Freedom to Freelance - beginning the fight against IR35'.

In 2016, after a break of some 10 years, he returned to IPSE and was re-elected onto the Consultative Council.

Outside IPSE, he is a well known activist and campaigner on self-employment. He has written many articles for sites as diverse as ContractorUK, Shout99, LabourList, Progress and Compass. He is also a member of the CRSE think tank and has contributed to work done by the Social Market Foundation.  

As a result of his campaigning and policy work, he has strong national and international links with co-ops, networks of the self-employed and unions, such as the Freelancers' Union in the USA.

Working for his own limited company, the Great Digital Company, Philip sells his services as a freelance agile business analyst in financial services and the media. In particular, he specialises in digital transformation projects.

Philip is married with three children and lives in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire.

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Rajiv Dhir

Rajiv has been in IT for around 30 years. In that time, he’s worked on most different areas of the industry, from investment banking to technology and the legal sector. More recently, he’s been doing a mix of consulting and training, staying about as far away from support and responsibility as he can.

Rajiv consults on most aspects of the IT industry, but is particularly focused on helping small to medium-sized companies make the most of their people, systems and investment. Generally, he works with business owners, boards and their heads of IT to create more harmonious and effective relationships.

He previously served a term on the the CC from 2011 to 2013,but didn’t learn his lesson so is back for more.

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Simon McCartney

Simon is an experienced service design and transition freelance consultant with over 15 years’ experience working with clients both on-site and remotely, across borders and even time zones.  

Simon started out in the public sector, working in a range of technology and strategy roles with West Yorkshire Police – including technical lead for two crucial Blackberry mobile pilot programmes.  

Since then he has worked with high profile clients on a wide range of projects, including Critical National Infrastructure. He has also led the design and development of enterprise service management solutions across many sectors: from telecommunications and utilities to defence and central government departments.

Simon joined the Consultative Council in 2016 and since then has been particularly focused on expanding IPSE beyond London and the South East. He has also been closely involved with many of IPSE’s campaigns, including National Freelancers Day and #UnfairIR35.

He is also a qualified scuba diver and a keen photographer, and is kept busy most of the time by his large family and countless pets.

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Steve Strain

Steve has enjoyed a long and successful career in organisational design, change project management and consultancy – primarily for IT organisations. And, after working on a range of IT transformation programmes for the Civil Service over the last six years, his company SLS Transition has built up considerable expertise in public sector change solutions.

In fact, it was through his work with the Ministry of Justice in 2012 that Steve came across IPSE. Having helped the Ministry implement its review of contractor taxes in the public sector, he worked closely with IPSE to guide contractors through the review process. He has also worked with the Home Office and Crown Commercial Services to help redesign the contractual elements of the CL-One Framework across government.

Elected to the Consultative Council in 2014, Steve is passionate about freelancing and has been working hard to help IPSE develop from an IR35-focused group to an organisation that is seen as the voice of freelancing across the UK.

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas is a talented and adaptable business professional with experience delivering Business Transformation implementations in Europe, China, Mexico, US, Middle East and Canada. Her knowledge and skills span the full Business Strategy and Design functions including determining strategic principles and delivering transformational programmes to achieve the required strategic outcome. With extensive Change Management experience on large transformation programmes, Sue has the full range of skills in Project, Programme and Portfolio Management including creating project plans, budget management, project portfolio management and project / programme governance. She is a strategic thinker with the ability to challenge the status quo to improve existing service delivery.

Sue has delivered large-scale programmes in public and private sectors including:

  • Reduced costs by 20% and improved productivity by 30% for private sector company by introducing standard operating procedures for solution development and delivery, quality assurance, document production, and business support
  • Business Transformation of local authorities enabling a path to closing the funding gap; initiating an enterprise portfolio approach to manage future change; preparing executives to become leaders of change
  • Rollout of 11 Contact Centres in virtual network, rationalising over 300 front office telephone based operations for a public sector organisation
  • Designed Business Architecture and strategy for 3yr plan to save 35% of operational cost for public sector organisation in front and back office

Delivered $20M+ in savings for national network of contact centres, directing team in developing channel strategy and optimising existing installation following market trends and best practices in channel solutions

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Tracey Davies

Tracey has been in IT for 24 years and a freelancer for 15 of those. Based in Glasgow, Tracey is newly elected to the CC and is keen to support the organisation moving forward.

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Vishal Gupta

Vishal has been working as a freelancer since graduating university as a qualified Software Engineer. Now he specialises in IT and business change across the public and private sectors. 

After eight years working for a charity, Vishal returned to his freelancing roots and joined PCG, now IPSE, to support and champion everyone from the newest self-employed starter to the most experienced freelancer.

He was elected onto the CC in 2016 and onto the Nominations Committee in early 2017.

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Neil Wooding
With over 20 years of New Media and mobile development working for companies such as Vodafone, Pearson Education, EA and BBC, Neil has worked as an IT consultant for many digital organisations and globally companies. During that time, he’s had extensive experience in running software development teams on many different products and services including winning the first BAFTA Mobile Game award.
He has run his own consultancy business for the past 12 years, giving him experience in both start-up and corporate businesses as a Product & Management consultant. He has been involved with scaling up teams as well as restructuring existing teams to be more efficient in their work.
Neil is a believer in Agile Methodologies and works in a collaborative way with both clients and colleagues.
Neil lives in North Hertfordshire with his wife and 2 kids and in his spare time likes to build model kits.


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