Law Society announces new CEO

The Law Society of NSW is pleased to announce the appointment of Sonja Stewart as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Ms Stewart was a Deputy Secretary within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and before that, a Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Public Service Commission. She is currently the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Arrilla Consulting, a joint venture with KPMG.

Ms Stewart has extensive senior experience across State and Commonwealth Governments, the legal profession, academia and the not-for-profit sector.

President of the Law Society of NSW, Richard Harvey, said Ms Stewart has considerable senior leadership experience, a proven capacity to work and deliver outcomes in complex and challenging environments and an impressive track record of high-level stakeholder engagement on a state, national and international level.

“Having undertaken an extensive global recruitment search for the CEO’s position, I am delighted to be announcing someone of such calibre to lead the Law Society into its next exciting chapter,” Mr Harvey said.

“As a body with both statutory and representative functions, the Law Society is a unique organisation with a diverse and complex set of regulatory and membership functions.

“Sonja has a wealth of experience leading policy and regulatory programs, well-honed strategic and stakeholder management skills and a deep knowledge of the regulatory framework, all of which is underpinned by a genuine commitment to a just and accessible legal system.”

Ms Stewart said she was looking forward to serving the peak body for the state’s 35,000 solicitors, working on behalf of the profession and ensuring access to justice for all.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work with the Law Society President and Council; to listen to and represent the legal profession, and to lead an organisation with a history of ensuring a just legal system,” Ms Stewart said.

Ms Stewart has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a Chairperson and Board Director of Government, academic and not-for-profit boards for more than 20 years.

Ms Stewart, herself a proud Yuin woman, is also a Director of the Goodes O'Loughlin Foundation which aims to improve educational outcomes of Indigenous youth.

Ms Stewart will step into the role on Monday 31 August 2020.