STARKLY opposing views on the leadership of Law Society president Martin Mears divide the two by-election candidates battling for a seat on the society's council.
Andrew Holroyd, a former president of the Liverpool law society, has sent a letter to all members of the Merseyside constituency slating rival candidate John Callaghan.
The letter says Callaghan "repeats the simplistic solutions which Martin Mears and his deputy Robert Sayer put forward last year but ignores the fact that they have failed because their promises were impossible to deliver".
Callaghan, who was not available for comment, indicates support for Mears and Sayer in his election manifesto.
The sole practitioner attacks the Law Society Council for "disregarding the wishes of the profession by repeatedly obstructing their efforts to implement their reforms".
Callaghan continues: "We need to return the Law Society to solicitors instead of being over-regulated by the Sir Humphreys at Chancery Lane, who have never suffered the frenzy and stress of a solicitor's office."
Holroyd, senior partner of Liverpool firm Jackson & Canter, commented: "I am a better known personality than Callaghan so the result of the election will be an interesting one."
The contest takes place on 24 May and the result will provide Mears and his opponents with an indication of the level of support in the country for their respective policies.
Mears, however, is not endorsing either candidate. He declined to give reasons.