A retail expert with experience of leading some of the UK’s biggest brand names is joining the Solicitors Regulation Authority board. Paul Loft has had a 30-year career which includes senior positions at Habitat, Argos, Debenhams and Burton Menswear. Most recently he was managing director with the DIY store Homebase.

Having since chaired the audit and risk committee for London housing association Peabody, Loft joined the SRA board as a lay member this month, the regulator announced today. 

Enid Rowland, chair of the SRA board, said: ‘Paul has an impressive track record in leadership positions in some of the high street’s biggest brands in what is one of the toughest and most competitive retail sectors in the world. His commitment to customer service, business acumen and strategic insight will be a great addition to our board. This will complement the range of expertise we already have on the board, giving us the right balance of insight into what matters to both the public and the profession.’

The salary for a position on the board is estimated at £10,000 plus expenses. Loft’s first meeting, which will be held behind closed doors, as is SRA policy, will be at the end of this month.

General regulations say that the SRA board must have between 11 and 15 members, and that the number of lay members must always exceed the number of solicitor members by one, apart from where a casual vacancy arises.

Loft joins the board as Jane Furniss, Professor Shamit Saggar and Paul Marsh ended their tenures last month.