Professor Nigel Savage's appointment to the new £100,000 a year chief executive post at the College of Law will mark a u-turn in the college's position from defensive to offensive, according to the outspoken academic.

Savage leaves Nottingham Law School, where he has been head since 1989, to take up the post created on the retirement of Richard Holbrook, chair of the college's management board.

His appointment comes a year after he launched an attack on the college's links with the Law Society when it was having to cope with the repercussions of the deregulation of legal education.

Savage said he planned to boost international links, fight for a contract to run barristers' training and improve the college's LPC course.

“The governors know where I stand as far as the Law Society is concerned, but my new role is not concerned with constitutional issues but the strategic approach of the college.

“This is a competitive time for legal education. The college has the critical mass and resources to really develop. It must shun its defensive stance and take the attack again.”

Professor Peter Jones, former deputy managing director, has been appointed by Nottingham Law School to fill Savage's position.