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The British Law Society has appointed Lottery chief Janet Paraskeva as its first ever $179,000 (�120,000) per year chief executive. Paraskeva, currently director of the U.K.’s National Lottery Charities Board, will take over the new role in October. The announcement comes just hours after Jane Betts, the current secretary-general, resigned from her position. The move will leave the Society without a manager at its helm for the whole of September, at a time when the new solicitor indemnity procedures come into force. Paraskeva, a magistrate and former member of the British Youth Justice Board, will take the reigns as the Society enters a tempestuous period in its history. It is currently facing a deficit for the first time. Says Paraskeva: “I am looking forward to working with the Law Society staff and Council to meet the challenges it faces as the result of its reform process.” She believes that her main priority will be to lead the renewal of the Society’s credibility among the profession, the government, and the public.1 Michael Napier, president of the Law Society, says, “This newly created post will be pivotal in achieving reform of the Law Society. In Janet we have found a candidate with vision, determination, and energy.” Paraskeva will need these attributes if she is to help turn around a society which is seen as “out of touch” by its members. Betts, who held the job for four years, says she is leaving the Society to pursue career possibilities in the U.K. and U.S. Insiders had originally thought Betts was considering applying for the new post of chief executive as it replaced the role of secretary-general. It is not known whether she applied, but her resignation comes just a few days after the shortlisted candidates were interviewed. David McIntosh, vice-president, recently confirmed that those shortlisted for the new position were of “a very high caliber”, and has said the new post was designed for “high-fliers”. Says one Council insider, “Although it was made clear that she was welcome to apply for the job, there was very little chance she would get it.” Betts has had a rocky four years at the helm of the Society. During this time the OSS has come under intense criticism, despite a multi-million pound injection of emergency cash. The Society itself has been attacked for being “out of touch” with the needs of its members, and last year Betts was in the middle of a lengthy dispute involving her staff and disgraced officer-holder Kamlesh Bahl.

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