CEO of NSW Law Society resigns

By Jerome Doraisamy|16 March 2020

The chief executive of the Law Society of NSW is set to resign from the member association to become the new CEO of the Law Council of Australia.

Michael Tidball, who was at the helm of the NSW Law Society for 14 years, will be resigning to assume a new role as chief executive of LCA.

In a statement, Mr Tidball said it has been an “absolute privilege” to serve the Law Society for nearly 14 years as CEO and as COO for the four years prior, saying “the time is right” to move on.

“I have embraced the challenges that that CEO role [has] brought along with the additional responsibilities as Secretary General of LAWASIA and a Director of Lawcover,” he said.


“The skills, experience and professional relationships that I have developed during my time at the Law Society have, I believe, placed me in a strong position to take this next step in my career, as CEO of the Law Council of Australia.”

“The decision was not taken lightly and has involved much personal reflection but ultimately my personal view is there is a point where organisations need renewed CEO leadership and that this should occur when performance is strong.”

Law Society president Richard Harvey said that Mr Tidball had been an “effective, respected and highly regarded leader” for the member association.

“As the Society’s longest serving CEO and Secretary General of LAWASIA, Michael has been an effective, respected and highly regarded leader who has brought vision, dedication, exceptional strategic skills and considerable energy to the role,” he said.

“There is no doubt that his tenure as CEO has seen the Society rise to new heights where it is now the pre-eminent legal association in Australia, representing the interests of 43 per cent of the nation’s legal profession. Michael has been at the forefront of Law Society initiatives to position the association as one of the largest, most resilient and successful voluntary membership law societies internationally.


“He has distinguished himself as an engaged, internationally regarded leader, driven by a genuine commitment to the role of legal associations in advancing and protecting the legal profession, and through it the rule of law, as the foundation of civil society.

“While I am incredibly sad to see Michael depart, I respect his decision to accept this new appointment – he goes with the Law Society Council’s gratitude for his tireless efforts and contribution. A change of CEO leadership will be a vital step for the future of the Society and the opportunity for further growth and enhancement of what is one of the most resilient and highly regarded legal associations in the world.”

LCA president Pauline Wright said she is “delighted to have secured” Mr Tidball to lead LCA into the new decade.

“Having undertaken an extensive global recruitment for a new CEO, I am thrilled that we have secured the most experienced, serving legal association chief executive in the Southern Hemisphere,” she said.

“The Law Society of NSW is, even by international standards, a legal professional association of considerable scale with a diverse and complex suite of regulatory and membership functions. In Michael, we have a CEO who is highly regarded internationally with the demonstrated ability to deliver organisational strategy, high-order people management and stakeholder engagement as well as intellectual leadership and strength.

“During his tenure at the Law Society of NSW, Michael has demonstrated a level of tenacity, and strategic vision to work through issues within an intellectual context of change and diversity of opinion that is second to none. On behalf of the Law Council of Australia, I congratulate Michael on his well-deserved appointment.”

Mr Tidball will finish up at the Law Society on 30 June 2020 and the search for a new CEO is underway.

He will take up his new position at LCA on 1 July 2020.

CEO of NSW Law Society resigns
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