A clinical commissioning group at the centre of a conflict of interest investigation last year has appointed a barrister specialising in professional conduct.

Barnet CCG recruited Robin Somerville late last month as a lay member of the board and governance and conflicts of interest guardian.

Mr Somerville is an accredited mediator and has chaired regulatory and disciplinary panels.

NHS England mandated CCGs appoint a conflicts of interest guardian last June after a series of governance failures were exposed.

HSJ revealed multiple governance failings and conflicts of interest at Barnet CCG last February, including: a whistleblower dismissed days after raising concerns about conflicts of interest; lack of clarity over payment to GPs; and undeclared “retainer” payments from care homes in the borough including to CCG chair Debbie Frost.

A GP on the governing body was also said to be “widely perceived to regularly ‘cross the line’ between commissioner and provider”, a report from investigators Verita found.

Barnet CCG would not release the Verita report but HSJ obtained a copy.

The investigators interviewed NHS England London director of finance David Slegg and director of primary care commissioning David Sturgeon, who said the problems in north London were unlikely to be confined to the area.

NHS England stood by its decision to grant the organisation delegated powers to commission primary care services in 2015.