Barrister Paul Philip has been appointed as the next chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Mr Philip is presently deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of the General Medical Council (GMC), where he has worked since 2001, and will join the SRA on 1 February 2014.
He has previously held senior roles in both the Legal Services Commission and the NHS. He has both a first degree in law and a masters in law, and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn.
With over 1,000 staff and an operating budget of £96m at GMC, he is responsible for leading corporate work programmes, as well as delivering the organisation’s core regulatory work.
His background echoes that of the man he replaces, Antony Townsend, who held senior roles at the GMC and was chief executive of the General Dental Council before joining the SRA in 2006.
SRA chairman Charles Plant said: “Paul has a wealth of experience in public interest regulation relating to the provision of professional services, which will be brought to bear on the opportunities and challenges facing the SRA as it moves to the next stage in our development. We are fortunate to have secured his services.”
Mr Philip said: “I am delighted to be joining the SRA at this key time and look forward to building on the considerable strengths and achievements of the organisation to date.”
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson added: “Paul has made a tremendous contribution to the GMC since joining us in 2001. He led the most significant reform of our fitness to practise work in our 150-year history – professionalising our operation and enabling it to deal with more than 10,000 complaints a year…
“Before taking up his current role, Paul was responsible for the guidance produced by the GMC standards and ethics team. This guidance… is the foundation of medical practice in the UK and is used all over the world.”
The SRA said Mr Philip also “radically reformed the GMC’s disciplinary work, ensuring the organisation delivered against challenging operational targets at the same time as introducing wide-ranging cultural change”.
The SRA said he also led the development of the GMC’s in-house legal team, delivering multiple six-figure savings for the organisation. The team now deals with all investigation and litigation work on behalf of the council, with over 100 staff.