Former Linklaters partner Nick Eastwell was today announced as the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) first ever chief adviser on City law firms.
Mr Eastwell, who spent 29 years with Linklaters, 21 as a partner, will act as a “bridgehead” between the SRA and City law firms, providing expert advice to the SRA executive and board.
He will provide additional quality assurance on the outcomes of SRA piloting work with the City as well as general expertise on such other matters such as helping the SRA to understand and work with non-City firms which use complex funding approaches.
Mr Eastwell’s last two positions with Linklaters were global head of capital markets and regional managing partner for emerging Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
He said: “I am very excited about the prospect of working with the SRA with its new focus on the City and City law firms, particularly in the context of the new regulatory regime and the introduction of multi-disciplinary practices and alternative business structures.”
SRA chairman Charles Plant, himself a former partner at Herbert Smith, added: “It is essential that we at the SRA have a full understanding of the issues which arise in all sectors of the solicitors’ profession, and that there is mutual confidence between the profession and the regulator. There was a perception amongst the largest commercial firms that we did not fully understand the nature of their work. We have now addressed that concern in a number of ways.
“The missing link has been the recruitment of a prominent practitioner to offer special advice to our executive team and board, and to help further enhance the confidence of clients and firms that the SRA has the appropriate skills and approach. Nick is uniquely well qualified for this role as the commercial firms and their clients will recognise.”