MARK RICHARDSON, long serving CEO of the Law Society of NSW, has announced he will be relinquishing his position by the end of the financial year in order to pursue other career paths. As head of the Law Society, Richardson has overseen a decade of business initiatives and regulatory reform.
He sees the introduction of professional co-regulation and the nationalising of the regulation as key reforms in his tenure, saying that he is “very pleased to have been at the beginning of it all in the early 1990s”.
Richardson said the Law Society is now looked at nationally and overseas “as an example of how to get through regulatory changes and having the profession become an active and vital part of the community”. Even though the Society now claims membership of 92.5 per cent of all NSW solicitors, he denies the mantle of monopoly, arguing instead that the organisation’s cooperative initiatives with other professional bodies ensure everyone has “an important role to play” in maintaining standards.
The Law Society has, he said, “become a very strong commercial enterprise”, especially having survived the HIH fall-out. In terms of future plans for the organisation, Richardson isolated tort law reform as high on the list of priorities that need to be addressed this year. He hopes that the Society’s new leader will “promote a sensible policy in tort law that will bring more consistency in the area and rectify some anomalies”.
On a personal note, Richardson said, “I believe I have another career left in me as a person”, and that “I think I can offer my skills to the community in another place for an equally long tenure”. He leaves the Law Society with “very fond memories and pleasure at what the organisation has managed to achieve with the support of its staff”.