In the latest indicator of divergence between the English and Welsh legal systems, the Solicitors Regulation Authority today announced the appointment of its first head of Welsh affairs. 

Liz Withers

Liz Withers will also open the regulator's first Welsh office

Source: SRA

Liz Withers, former head of policy at Citizens Advice Cymru, will lead the regulator’s public affairs and stakeholder engagement activities in Wales, the SRA said. This will include 'strengthening its understanding of the Welsh legal landscape and working with local consumer groups'. She will also establish a new SRA Wales office. 

Developing an increased presence in Wales is a key objective in the SRA’s 2020-23 corporate strategy. ‘The legal landscape in Wales is changing and we want to play our part, not only through the phased introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination in Welsh but across other key areas, such as the use of technology and other ways that people can access the legal help they need,' said Anna Bradley, SRA chair.

Withers has previously held posts in the Equality and Human Rights Commission, National Autistic Society and Consumer Focus (Wales). She said: 'I’m keen for the SRA to play an active role in the development of an inclusive and sustainable Welsh legal sector, that allows the public to access appropriate and good quality legal advice, when and how they need it.'