Girling's letter reveals director's job hunting

A LETTER dispatched to the Law Society's 70 council members by president Tony Girling has revealed details of a senior director's private job-hunting activities, including his failed bid to become head of the College of Law.

The circular, which also announced the redundancy of another Law Society director, has astonished council members and staff alike.

It reveals that John Randall, director of professional standards, not only applied to join the College of Law, but also made applications for the post of Law Society secretary general and for a senior position in the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.

Girling says in the letter: “He has made it clear that he is at a stage in his life when, not having secured the secretary general's position, he wishes to seek a chief executive role elsewhere,” adding that while Randall remains at the Law Society he has his full support.

Randall is the sole surviving member of departed secretary general John Hayes' management board and the letter appears to be an attempt to quash rumours that his position is under threat.

Hayes, along with Walter Merricks, Andrew Lockley and Veronica Lowe, moved on to new jobs, while Jane Hern and now Geoffery Bignall, chief executive of the Law Society's subsidiary services company, have been made redundant.

Of Bignall's departure, also announced in the letter, Girling says someone with a marketing background is needed.

A year ago Bignall masterminded the establishment of an arm's-length Law Society subsidiary, Law Society Services, which runs The Law Society Gazette and a new business centre at Chancery Lane, officially opened by Girling last week.

Next year the company estimates it will boost the Law Society's earnings by £900,000.

Bignall said: “Everyone at Law Society Services has worked very hard. Our purpose has been to serve the profession and I believe we have done a great job.”

Randall said he had always understood job applications to be confidential – but he added that he had made no secret among his colleagues that he was looking to advance his career.