The Law Society will seek to meet new lord chancellor Liz Truss ‘at the earliest opportunity’, as the legal profession welcomes the appointment.

The former environment secretary moved to the Ministry of Justice this morning in a surprise switch, with incumbent Michael Gove removed by new prime minister Theresa May.

Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon (pictured) said the organisation will be in immediate contact with the first woman to hold the post of lord chancellor.

‘We welcome her appointment and look forward to working with her as we have with her predecessors. This is a moment of significant change for the country and we are particularly focused on access to justice and that ensuring people’s rights are safeguarded.

‘The legal sector contributes £25.7bn to our economy creating more than 370,000 jobs. We are calling on the government to safeguard the ability of lawyers to practise across the EU and other issues such as extradition rights which protect the interests of justice and safeguard our citizens.’

The Motor Accident Solicitors Society said it was heartened by May’s pledge to work on behalf of working people and hoped this will mean a rethink of personal injury reforms.

Its statement said: ‘We look forward to working constructively with Liz Truss on some pragmatic solutions to the problems around fraudulent compensation claims.

‘We also welcome the new prime minister’s comments yesterday about fighting injustices for ordinary working-class people and hope that this sentiment will be echoed in considering the impact of proposals on the basic right to compensation for injured working people.’

Family law charity Resolution said it will lobby Truss for reforms to help improve the lives of separating and separated couples.

‘This includes removing the legal need for divorcing couples to blame each other, which is currently a major roadblock in helping resolve matters amicably, and often acts as a barrier to people keeping their disputes away from the courtroom,’ said Resolution chair Nigel Shepherd.

‘As former minister at the department for education, we hope Ms Truss will also have a positive view of our work to encourage separating parents to put the best interests of their children first.’