Lawyers and accountants who deal with fraud issues say it is too early to know who will replace departing Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley.

Feeley announced this week that he was leaving to be chief executive of the Lakes District Council in Queenstown.

Chapman Tripp partner Roger Wallis said he expected the position to be advertised by the State Services Commission.

"So it could be anyone, including one of the existing senior staff or a new person," Wallis said.


But a senior accountancy firm expert said an internal appointment would be unusual.

"There has never been an internal appointment. They have always appointed externally."

It was also typical for SFO bosses to come from a legal background.

Feeley is a lawyer but came to the SFO from the Eden Park Redevelopment Board. He has been in the role since September 2007.

Previous chief executives have included Grant Liddell, David Bradshaw and Chas Sturt.

Feeley is expected leave the SFO within three months. A State Services Commission spokeswoman confirmed the position would be advertised but could not say when.