Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal announces its new leadership team

Alison Kellett has been appointed as the new President of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (‘SDT’), succeeding the outgoing President, Edward (Ed) Nally who has completed his second and final term as President. Alison will serve as SDT President, a Director of the SDTAL Board and a member of the SDT Policy Committee for an initial term of three years.

Alison joined the Tribunal in October 2015 and, before taking up the Presidency, served as Vice-President. Aside from the Tribunal, Alison works in-house as Head of Global Dispute Resolution for the UK and Channel Islands for a global financial institution, having previously worked for over a decade in private practice. She is also an experienced school governor.  In addition to SDT case work, Alison has significant experience of board level matters and building strong relationships with senior stakeholders across the profession.

Commenting on her appointment, Alison said: “To become the first woman to lead the Tribunal is a great honour. I am quite sure the next three years will bring new challenges which I am very much looking forward to tackling along with the rest of the Board. A key focus for me will be to welcome and integrate the new members of the Tribunal who will be joining us later this year, and who will continue to bring greater diversity to the organisation to better reflect the make-up of our profession.”

She continued: “The Members and staff of the SDT send Ed good wishes and thanks for his work as President of the Tribunal since 2016. We are pleased that Ed will remain actively involved with the Tribunal’s work as he will continue to sit as a Solicitor Member.”

Congratulating Alison on her appointment, Ed Nally commented: “The SDT is fortunate to have such an excellent successor as President in Alison Kellett to whom I offer my sincere congratulations. She will bring her considerable corporate skills and experience to the role, which I know she will conduct with distinction. As our first female President Alison will be supported in office by a strong Board and Policy Committee, and I believe the SDT will go from strength to strength under her leadership.“  

Reflecting on his time as President, Ed said: “Leading the SDT over the past six years has been an unforgettable responsibility and privilege for which I am very grateful. It should be a source of pride to all of us at the SDT to reflect on just how far the organisation has been transformed over the past few years. We have moved seamlessly to a paperless environment, with excellent systems, new technology and increased efficiency and cost effectiveness. We have coped and indeed flourished through the challenges of the Covid pandemic. We have adopted new Practice Rules, welcomed and bade farewell to new members and departing colleagues respectively. Most importantly we continue to deal with challenging, important and sometimes high-profile casework and decisions in the field of professional misconduct. The SDT occupies a vital place in maintaining and indeed enhancing the professional standards that we should all expect from the solicitors profession. It gives me great personal satisfaction to have occupied a position of leadership in that context.”

Following Alison’s election as President, Paul Lewis has been appointed as SDT Solicitor Vice-President. Paul will also serve as a Director of the SDTAL Board and a member of the SDT Policy Committee for a term of three years. Like Alison, Paul joined the Tribunal in October 2015.  Having practised as a solicitor for almost 25 years, he is a partner and head of the Crown Court team at a national practice.  He is also a fee-paid judge at the first-tier Immigration and Asylum Tribunal.

Stephanie Bown, the current Lay Vice-President, was re-elected for a second and final three year term commencing on 3 March 2022. Stephanie joined the Board and Policy Committee in 2016 and since then has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Board and Policy Committee.  Bellamy Forde and Rob Slack also continue in their roles as Board members.