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Former Law Society of NSW Chief Executive Officer Michael Tidball has been appointed the new Secretary of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ).

Tidball was the longest-serving CEO of the Law Society and led the organisation for 14 years until 2020, when he was appointed CEO of the Law Council of Australia.

During his time at the Law Society, the number of solicitors in NSW grew from about 21,000 to more than 35,000.

He also served as the Secretary-General of LAWASIA since 2015, and previously had a career in child protection working for the South Australian public service, before moving to the Commonwealth to develop community corrections and juvenile justice programs.

Tidball will bring 35 years of legal experience to DCJ when he commences his new role on 1 February, replacing former Secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter, who departed DCJ in October 2021 to lead the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said Tidball had “an extensive background in policy, leadership and strategy formulation and execution across the public and private sectors in Australia”.

“During his 35-year career, Michael has worked with government leaders and ministers, agency heads, industry leaders, the judiciary, non-government organisations and the community,” Speakman said.

“I look forward to working closely with Michael in his new role aiming to achieve safe, just, resilient and inclusive communities in NSW as we deal with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Law Society of NSW President Joanne van der Plaat congratulated Tiball by reposting the announcement over Twitter and said the Law Society wished him well in the new role.

The law Council of Australia thanked its “esteemed CEO” and thanked Tidball for his “immense contribution”.
“Congratulations and best of luck,” the council tweeted.