The Legal Services Board (LSB) has brought in a former chief executive of Cheshire and Kent County Councils, Sir Michael Pitt to succeed David Edmonds CBE as chairman when his second term expires on 30 April 2014.
Pitt joins from the Planning Inspectorate, the executive agency of the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government. The agency was formed in April 2012 on the abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), of which Pitt was chair, and he was named chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate on its formation.
Pitt played a key role in ensuring the IPC met the statutory deadlines under the Planning Act 2008 for ‘nationally significant infrastructure projects’. Before this, he held senior posts in a variety of local authorities, including director of property and director of technical services at Humberside. From 1990 to 2005 he was chief executive of Cheshire and Kent County Councils.
The move follows Pitt’s announcement in October last year that he would leave the Planning Inspectorate at the end of March 2014. His new appointment, which comes as the government is looking into how better the profession could regulate itself, was announced by the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice.
Grayling said: ‘[Pitt] brings with him experience which will be invaluable to the LSB as it moves forward in its important work overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. I wish him good luck in his new role.’
Pitt added: ‘I know that I will take over at a key point in the development of the legal services market and its regulation. I look forward to the challenge of continuing to drive forward the positive changes for consumers and new opportunities for providers which the [Legal Services] Act has initiated in legal services in England and Wales.’