Pay of up to £300,000 on offer for next Law Society chief executive

Tennant: Interim spell set to end

The next chief executive of the Law Society could earn £300,000 after the job was finally advertised – more than a year since the last one quit.

The role has since been filled on an interim basis by Paul Tennant, who has had almost no public profile since taking over following Catherine Dixon’s dramatic resignation last January. He is a former housing association chief executive

The post comes with a salary of up to £230,000, a bonus of up to 30% and a defined contribution pension scheme.

However, this marks a reduction on Ms Dixon’s pay packet. The Law Society’s annual report for the year to 31 October 2016 – its most recent – put her pay packet at £344,000, including a £29,000 pension contribution.

Paul Philip, chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), also picked up £344,000, although that did not include a pension contribution.

As at the annual report date, the SRA employed 575 staff, the Law Society 338, with a further 99 people in shared services.

The Law Society will pay into the new chief executives pension two times contributions up to 3.5% of notional base pay, and 1.5 times any contribution made between 3.5% and 7%. If more than 7% of notional base pay is contributed, the society’s contribution remains at 12.5%.

Applications close on 18 March. There is a longlisting and recruiter interview stage before candidates go before the recruitment panel at the Law Society, which is not scheduled to be until May, so it could yet be some considerable time before the new person is actually in place.

The job description notes: “These are changing times and the role of chief executive to the Law Society has historically encountered a range of different challenges relating to its structure, governance and budgets…

“It is not necessary to be a solicitor or otherwise to have a connection with the law, although naturally some understanding of the profession would be advantageous.”

The advert summarises the ideal person as being “an experienced, confident and visible leader, familiar with organisations of similar political and operational complexity, with the personal presence and style to act as a role model”.

Further, they should be “a clear strategic thinker who is action-orientated towards realising the society’s goals now and in the future; able to deliver value for money and additional revenue streams”.

Finally, they need to be “a values driven self-starter, with the enthusiasm to inspire and enable people with patience and persistence, acting with a deft and diplomatic touch”.

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