Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, has today announced that he will retire from the role. He will leave Chancery Lane after this year’s AGM.

Hudson joined the Society as chief executive in September 2006. He was previously chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

In a statement, the Society said: ‘Under his leadership, the Society has developed to become an internationally renowned organisation that supports and represents its members around the world.

‘Mr Hudson has strengthened the Society by streamlining its management structure, introducing new technology and communication platforms, reforming pay and pension arrangements and boosting revenues generated from commercial activity to invest in member services. 

‘He has led numerous high-profile campaigns including the introduction of a range of new initiatives to help to increase the quality of legal services provision in England and Wales and raise public awareness of solicitors’ expertise. These include the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, Risk and Compliance Service and the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme.

‘He has also promoted UK legal expertise overseas and helped Society members to access new markets.’

Hudson said: ‘A year ago I took the decision to retire in 2014. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Society during this time of change for the legal profession and I look forward to continuing to do so until I depart. 

‘I would particularly like to thank my colleagues and our volunteer community within the Society for the support and guidance they have given me over the years. I am indebted to them and proud of what we have achieved together.’

Nicholas Fluck, president of the Society, said: ‘Des has delivered an outstanding service to the Law Society and has been a powerful advocate for the solicitors profession for eight years. He will be a tough act to follow. 

‘He has transformed the organisation during his tenure and provided a powerful and influential voice for our members. His contribution will benefit the Society and our profession for many years to come.’

Hudson qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and worked in private practice until 1987. During that time he became a salaried partner in a major provincial law firm in the north-west of England, specialising in crime and child protection work.

In 1987 he joined the Yorkshire Building Society as an assistant solicitor and held a number of positions there. In 1992 he took up the post of head of lending at the Britannia Building Society, and in 1995 he became operations director of Britannia Life, where he later became managing director.

In 1998 Hudson joined SMG (Scottish Media Group) to become chief executive of their publishing division and was appointed a director of SMG plc in 1999. He moved to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in 2004.