SRA begins hunt for inaugural GC in management overhaul

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is advertising for its first-ever general counsel in the wake of the appointment of Paul Philip as its chief executive.

The general counsel will be in charge of a team of five, advising on policy, legal issues and legislative drafting. The head in-house lawyer will join the SRA’s senior management team, alongside the CEO and five existing executive directors, all of whom report to the CEO.

The senior management team currently includes qualified solicitor David Middleton, who is executive director for legal and enforcement, overseeing areas such as the SRA’s investigation of solicitors.

In an appointment brief sent out by recruitment agency Saxton Bampfylde and seen by The Lawyer, Philip noted that the SRA will publish a new strategic direction document in the autumn.

“This will include plans to ensure we are proportionate in our regulatory model, further liberalise the market for legal services and press hard at reducing red tape,” Philip wrote.

According to the appointment brief, the SRA is looking for a senior solicitor or barrister with experience in areas including public law, organisational governance, regulatory policy, information compliance and the UK legislative process, as well as experience of “change management”.

The successful candidate – ideally based in Birmingham – will be paid a “competitive salary” and benefits include a car cash allowance, private medical insurance, a season ticket loan and health club membership.

As well as recruiting Philip earlier this year from the General Medical Council, where he was deputy CEO and chief operating officer, the SRA last week announced Enid Rowlands would take over from Charles Plant as chair of the SRA board on 1 January 2015. Rowlands, the UK chair of Victim Support, has been an SRA board member since 1 January 2013.