In brief: Betts defends disclosure guidelines

Secretary general of the Law Society Jane Betts has defended the Law Society's guidelines on disclosure of information, saying that far from clamping down on disclosure they are designed to facilitate openness. Writing in The Lawyer this week, Betts says the guidelines are “not intended to operate as a barrier” and will “make the secretary general and members of the management team of the society responsible for ensuring that council members' requests for information are met”. The guidelines on staff disclosure, published earlier this month, have been criticised by former Law Society president Martin Mears and deputy treasurer Robert Sayer, who claim they are designed to muzzle staff members and prevent council members from investigating Law Society activities. In an open letter to president Tony Girling published last week, Mears commented: “The guidelines as produced will have the net effect of reducing rather than increasing openness.”