Brochure row mars Law Society ballot

The Law Society has been accused of holding an unfair ballot on a proposed charter overhaul that could see non-lawyers become fee-paying, non-voting society members.

A group of members is claiming that the society tried to influence the postal ballot – which has cost £90,000 – by including a glossy Law Society brochure with its submission for the proposals. The group alleges that this breaches the ­society’s bylaws, which state that when a vote is required either side must make their case in a submission of no more than 1,000 words.

Along with 19 other members, sole practitioner Vivien Stern had requested the postal ballot take place so that members could vote on the changes rather than having them passed by the Law Society Council.

But Stern claimed the society had pre-empted the result by including the brochure.

Law Society membership board chair Kevin Martin said: “I don’t believe there’s been any transgression or unfairness. Very often when lawyers feel their backs are to the wall they try to find technical problems.”

The ballot closed last Friday (24 October) and results are expected early this week.