Recruitment advertisements for a new chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority appeared in yesterday’s Sunday newspapers.

The successful candidate will replace Antony Townsend, who last month announced his intention to leave the regulator later this year.

According to an advertisement in the Sunday Times placed by recruiter Gatenby Sanderson, his replacement ‘will bring outstanding credentials in having delivered cultural change and performance improvement in either the public or private sectors’.

A ‘substantial package’ is offered for ‘a leader with a consistent track record of successful delivery and performance focus in roles of similar scale and complexity’.

The advertisement does not mention the looming crisis facing the SRA over intervention costs, but says: ‘You will need to be politically astute and a collaborative team builder.’

Townsend, who took up his post in 2006, was previously chief executive of the General Dental Council.