Nicola Sawford of Serle Court has become the first chambers chief executive ever appointed a board member of the Bar Standards Board.
A chartered accountant, she has been in her post for over 10 years and is also an executive committee member at the Legal Practice Management Association.
There has never been a non-lawyer chief executive of a law firm on the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority either.
Ms Sawford, who will not join the board until September 2015, said: “I applied for the role because I have a keen interest in the BSB’s work and because I want to further develop my non-executive experience.
“The Bar and the BSB are operating in a rapidly changing legal services market, and helping the BSB deliver its strategic aims against this backdrop will be both interesting and stimulating.
“I believe my chambers management experience – especially my direct experience of operating under the new supervision regime – will be a useful contribution to the board’s existing skill set and I hope to provide guidance on how these processes affect chambers.”
There are also two new barrister members of the board, taking on their appointments from January: Fountain Court commercial specialist Andrew Mitchell QC, a member of the BSB’s professional conduct committee and Adam Solomon of Littleton Chambers, who practices commercial, employment and regulatory law. Since 2000, Mr Solomon has been a trustee and director of Law for All (now in administration), a charity committed to providing access to justice for those who might otherwise be denied it.
In addition, former PwC management consultant Keith Baldwin has been appointed as a special adviser to the board for two years from 1 January 2015, assist in particular those activities centred on finance and efficiency, and major IT projects. If a lay board member vacancy should arise between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2016, this will be offered to Mr Baldwin, who currently has a series of non-executive roles.
It is a time of change for the BSB, with chair Baroness Ruth Deech being replaced on 1 January by Sir Andrew Burns.
The recruitment process for the chair and members of the BSB is delegated to an independent appointments panel chaired by Dr Kenneth Fleming, director of international affairs for the Royal College of Pathologists.