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Law Society lines up Clifford Chance’s Davis to take over as president

Clifford Chance commercial litigation partner Simon Davis has been elected as the Law Society’s deputy vice president.

Davis (pictured) will take his position in July, becoming vice president in 2018 and then president in 2019. The election saw Davis put through a rigorous assessment process, where candidates were made to attend hustings in front of members. Following months of selection, Davis was eventually chosen from a wider pool of seven candidates via a proportional representation system.

Davis told Legal Business: ‘The decision to call a snap election shows that these are going to be uncertain times for our members and their clients ahead. I’m looking forward very much to giving them all the support I can.

‘I intend to represent the Law Society’s broad spread of members as I represent my clients – finding out and resolving the challenges they face, permitting our members in turn to devote their energies to representing the clients who depend on them.’

Incumbent Robert Bourns added: ‘I congratulate Simon, who emerged as the winner from an extremely strong field of candidates. I wish him all the very best for his three years as an office holder.’

With more than 30 years’ experience in dispute resolution, Davis is a seasoned litigator who specialises in the banking, energy and media sectors.

In February this year, Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon quit her position. Dixon cited a lack of governance reform in the society’s council as the reason for her resignation.

In a letter to the 100 members of the council, Dixon said the Law Society cannot ‘operate in a responsive and agile way.’

Also in February, the Legal Services Board (LSB) launched a probe into the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regarding its independence from the Law Society.

The SRA has independence in terms of its governance, but is currently structurally linked to the Law Society through shared resources such as finance and HR systems. Around 30% of a solicitor’s annual practising fee goes to the Law Society, with the rest going towards the SRA.

Read more: ‘Taxation without representation – would you pay for the Law Society to represent you?’