The Charity Commission has appointed its head of legal compliance as its next director of legal services.
Aarti Thakor will take up the role today from Kenneth Dibble, who stood down in March to join the regulator’s board after 15 years in the role.
In a statement today, the regulator said Thakor had been part of its legal services directorate since 2008 and had been "providing legal advice on the highest-risk and most complex investigations into charities and other high-risk matters".
Thakor led the regulator’s work in the development of the Charities Act 2016, which gave the commission additional powers including allowing it to remove trustees and issue warnings to charities.
Before joining the commission, Thakor was in-house counsel for the United Nations in Rwanda and at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, and had also worked as a barrister dealing with civil and criminal matters.
Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said in a statement that Thakor was the outstanding candidate and would bring "exceptional leadership qualities, as well as extensive technical expertise and experience".
Chris Willis Pickup, charities and social ventures partner at the law firm Taylor Vinters, who worked with Thakor at the regulator for four years, told Third Sector she was a "wonderfully creative lawyer" who would make a great choice for the role.
He said Thakor had "huge personal integrity" and was an inspiring leader.
Stepping into Dibble’s shoes was never going to be easy, said Willis Pickup, "but I can’t think of a better person to do this".
He said: "It’s a big job – she will lead a legal team of about 20 whose key task is making sure the commission uses its powers appropriately in thousands of cases a year.
"She’ll also sit on the commission’s directors’ group, taking decisions about the overall management of the commission, including how to deploy its increased budget and its future strategy.
"I’m sure her colleagues at the commission are delighted and proud of her appointment," he added.
Thakor said: "I look forward to leading what is a talented and committed team of lawyers and support staff, who together play a central role in upholding good governance in charities and building public trust in the sector."