Two new appointments to the SRA Board

Two new appointments to the SRA Board were announced on 9th January 2015.

Elaine Williams, former Deputy Group Company Secretary at HSBC, and David Willis, former joint Chief Executive of international legal firm Herbert Smith Freehills, are joining the Board as non-executive directors.

SRA Chair of the Board, Enid Rowlands, said: “I am delighted to welcome two new members to our Board. Their range of knowledge and experience will make a strong contribution to the work of the Board as we oversee the delivery of our corporate strategy and business plan.”

Elaine Williams is a qualified solicitor who brings to the Board broad-ranging international corporate and commercial legal experience gained in in-house and private practice roles. She was formerly a partner (2000 – 2010) in the corporate practice of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Asia, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures and provision of general corporate and commercial advice. Elaine joined HSBC in 2011 as Deputy Group Company Secretary and in that role gained significant experience of corporate governance and company secretarial best practices.

David Willis qualified as a solicitor in 1983 and was a partner in international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills for 25 years until his retirement in 2014. He practised in the field of corporate law, with particular focus on privatisations and other major Government assignments. He was appointed Managing Partner of Herbert Smith in 2008 and became Joint Chief Executive on the merger with Australian firm Freehills in 2012. David is a member of the Council of Queen Mary University of London, where he chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. He is a director of Paradigm Trust, an academy trust responsible for three primary schools in East London. He is a member of the Development Committee of Jesus College, Oxford and is also involved in the charity sector, through Pilotlight.

Enid Rowlands officially took over as the first lay Chair of the SRA on 1 January 2015. Former Chair, Charles Plant, retired at the end of 2014.

Appointment process

The competitive appointment process was supported by recruitment agency Davidson and Partners. The appointment panel comprised Charles Plant, outgoing Chair of the SRA, Enid Rowland, Chair designate and Dame Denise Platt, Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection. A total of 94 applications for the lay and solicitor posts was received.

The new members replace retiring Board members Tom Keevil, Sara Nathan and Charles Plant. A third appointee will be announced in due course.

SRA Board

The SRA Board consists of 15 members – seven solicitors and eight lay people, one of whom chairs the Board. Full details can be found at: http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/board.page

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