Catherine Dixon, currently chief executive of the NHS Litigation Authority, is to replace Desmond Hudson as chief executive of The Law Society.

She will take up the position in the next few months, having completed her notice period, Chancery Lane announced today. Interim arrangements will be announced shortly.

Solicitor Dixon joined the NHSLA, which manages negligence and other claims against the NHS in England, in April 2012. There she is responsible for spending  £75m a year on lawyers and paying out over £1bn in compensation.

She joined the authority from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where she was general counsel and company secretary. Dixon was previously with BUPA, as head of legal and then commercial director of Bupa Care Services, where she took an Open University MBA, and in private practice at Eversheds.

Dixon studied law at university before doing her Law Society finals in York. Her career has also included a spell in Canada at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. She is also an accredited mediator and a trustee of the PDSA, which provides care to animals whose owners cannot afford to pay.

Andrew Caplen, president of the Law Society said: ’I am delighted that we have someone with Catherine’s track record in the profession to help take the organisation forward. I very much look forward to working with her.’

Catherine Dixon said: ’I am excited and feel very honoured to be joining the Law Society. I am committed to ensuring that the Law Society has a strong voice for all our members. I want to help the organisation represent, promote and support the profession across the spectrum of practice, speaking up for them and creating an environment in which the entire profession can flourish.’

Desmond Hudson, outgoing chief executive retires at the end of August.

Caplen added: ’On behalf of Council, I would like to thank Des for his tireless commitment to the organisation and the profession for the last eight years. We all wish him well for his retirement.’