Law Society picks NHSLA head Dixon as new CEO

The Law Society has appointed NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) chief executive Catherine Dixon to head up the solicitors’ representative body, following the retirement of outgoing CEO Desmond Hudson.

Dixon will join the Law Society after working her notice period with the NHSLA and the body said interim arrangements to fill the gap between Hudson’s retirement at the end of this month and her arrival would be anounced shortly.

Dixon joined the NHSLA two years ago from the NSPCC, where she was general counsel and company secretary (6 September 2012). She was formerly head of legal at Bupa and began her legal career at Eversheds.

Hudson announced his retirement earlier this year (14 March 2014), saying the move was not linked to a no confidence motion passed against the Law Society’s leadership in December amid the row over legal aid cuts (17 December 2013).

The appointment is likely to lead to a substantial pay rise for Dixon. Law Society accounts show Hudson was paid around £400,000 for the 2013/14 financial year (20 June 2014), although the vacancy was advertised at a salary of between £230,000 to £250,000. At the NHSLA, Dixon is paid between £140,000 and £144,999.

In a statement Dixon said she was “committed to ensuring that the Law Society has a strong voice for all our members”.

“I want to help the organisation represent, promote and support the profession across the spectrum of practice, speaking up for them and creating an environment in which the entire profession can flourish,” she added.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen welcomed Dixon and thanked Hudson for his “tireless commitment” to the profession.