A former City solicitor has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Legal Services Board (LSB) – the first lawyer to hold the post.
Neil Buckley, who spent eight years at Sinclair Roche & Temperley (now part of Stephenson Harwood), joins in January from the Office for Communications (Ofcom), where he is director of investigations.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Buckley did a law degree at Oxford University and then took the Bar exams at the Inns of Court School of Law before joining Sinclair Roche in 1987. He qualified in 1990 and, the LSB said, specialised in international private arbitration.
After he left in 1995, he obtained a masters in regulation at the London School of Economics, and in 1997 became policy project director at the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel).
At Ofcom, he leads a team that enforces competition law and the regulatory rules that apply to the communications sector. The team is also responsible for Ofcom’s dispute resolution functions. His previous roles at Ofcom include director of consumer policy.
Though by law the chairman of the LSB cannot be a lawyer, there is no stipulation at the background of its chief executive.
An LSB statement said that “with 18 years’ experience in a variety of regulatory roles and an early career as a lawyer, Neil brings a strong track record of making markets work well for consumers whilst also ensuring that market conditions mean providers can compete on a fair basis and thrive”.
He will join the LSB ahead of the departure in February of Richard Moriarty, who is moving to the Civil Aviation Authority – where he will become deputy chief executive and group director, consumers and markets – after just a year in post at the LSB.
LSB chairman Sir Michael Pitt said: “I am delighted that Neil will be joining the LSB. He impressed us with his energy, drive and commitment to this vibrant and important sector and we are looking forward to him joining the team in the New Year.
“He will bring to the LSB just the right blend of leadership and experience to take the organisation forward and build on its achievement.”
Mr Buckley said: “I am really pleased to be joining the LSB. The legal sector delivers services that are essential for the protection of consumers and for access to justice. I look forward to working with everyone who has an interest in helping to deliver the best possible outcome for all consumers in terms of a dynamic and innovative legal market.”