Legal Business Blogs

LSB chair steps aside as MoJ implements opens competition for successor

Chairman of the Legal Services Board (LSB), Sir Michael Pitt, has ruled himself out of contention for a second year term after his tenure comes to an end on 31 April 2017.

Pitt’s decision not to stand comes after three years in the role. Pitt’s predecessor, Dave Edmonds CBE, was directly appointed for a second term without the role being externally advertised.

In December 2016, the Cabinet Office issued a governance code to ensure that public appointments are fair and transparent. As a result, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has decided to advertise the role as part to ensure open competition.

The code states that ministers should be given ‘sufficient time’ to plan the appointment of a successor, and that: ‘there is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking in to account the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience.’

The LSB indicated that an appointment will be made around June or July.

As part of his role, Pitt must dedicate at least 70 days of work a year and receives a non-pensionable remuneration of £63,000 per annum.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: ‘The process of appointing a new chair to the Legal Services Board is underway. The post will be advertised this month and the Government encourages applications from those keen to ensure greater diversity in the legal profession.’

In February 2017, the LSB commenced a probe into the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regarding its independence from the Law Society. Both bodies are independent in terms of governance, but are structurally linked via shared resources such as finance and HR systems.

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