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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Law Society appoint new chief executive

Law Society appoint new chief executive


The new chief will take over in September 2022

The Law Society has announced it has appointed Ian Jeffery (pictured) as chief executive. Jeffery will take up the position in September 2022. Interim chief executive, Gerry Walsh, will remain in post until September.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: "I am delighted to welcome Ian to the Law Society and look forward very much to working with him as he takes the helm.

"As a solicitor and law firm leader, Ian comes with valuable and highly relevant skills amassed during his time as a managing partner and chief executive at a large firm, from his specialism in intellectual property and his early experience in legal aid.

“I am confident he will develop an ever-more sophisticated approach to meeting our members’ needs, from in-house to government, from the City to legal aid practitioners and high street solicitors”.

Jeffery trained with Lewis Silkin in 1990 and qualified as a solicitor in 1992. He has extensive experience in information technology and intellectual property law and rose through the ranks quickly, becoming partner in 1998 and managing partner in 2005 at the age of 37.

He led Lewis Silkin as managing partner and chief executive for 15 years. During this time, he drove the growth of the firm both domestically and internationally, helping establish a reputation for being one of the most innovative large law firms.  

More recently, Jeffrey has acted as an independent consultant to law firms, professional services organisations and businesses in the legal tech space. He has also sat on boards across different industry sectors.

Boyce concluded: "I know Ian will be instrumental in helping us to continue to realise our vision for a valued profession delivering the highest quality legal services in the public interest and advancing the rule of law.”

Law Society Board chair, Robert Bourns, commented: “We count ourselves lucky to have Ian as our incoming chief executive. He has deep sector expertise, and experience leading a large firm as managing partner and chief executive.

“I look forward to seeing Ian exercise his talent for leadership for the benefit of solicitors in all areas of practice, supporting the excellent work of our Council, expert committees and staff”.

He also thanked Walsh for his contribution as interim chief executive.

Jeffery commented: "It is an exciting time to be joining the team at the Law Society. As the voice of the solicitors' profession the organisation has a huge role to play in shaping the future of legal services, addressing immediate challenges and leading conversation around long term opportunities. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve seen first-hand how solicitors make an enormous contribution to society. They are on every high street in every town and city in the country as well as in all the major commercial centres – working independently, in firms and in-house – providing invaluable support to families and businesses alike.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Law Society to champion solicitors’ interests and to support them to thrive in a rapidly changing legal environment.

“With my background as a solicitor and firm leader I hope we can engage an ever-broader section of the membership in the vital work it does for the profession and for society as a whole."