The U.K. competition and markets authority has appointed its general counsel and former Slaughter and May partner Sarah Cardell as its interim CEO, making Cardell the first woman to hold the position.
Cardell’s appointment, announced on Friday by the U.K. government, makes her the first ever woman to hold the position. Her interim tenure will come into effect in July, when incumbent CEO Andrea Coscelli steps down.
The statement added that the government has begun the recruitment process for the next permanent CEO.
Cardell began her career at Slaughter & May where she first qualified as a lawyer and was promoted to partner in the firm’s competition group in 2008.
In 2011, she left Slaughters to work in the public sector, joining the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets as a legal partner. Cardell was then appointed general counsel of the CMA in 2013.
Commenting on her appointment, U.K. business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Sarah’s experience and expertise provides a strong foundation for the CMA at a time when their work to help people make the most of their money is critically important to consumers across the country.”
The CMA is a non-ministerial department responsible for enforcing competition and consumer law and carrying out investigations into mergers and markets.
In recent years, it has extended its reach into the U.K. legal services market.
In 2020, it concluded that regulatory reform was needed to tackle unregulated providers in the legal industry, following its 2016 recommendations to the legal sector to improve transparency on price, service and quality to help customers navigate the sector more easily and get value for money.