SIF vote criticism 'sour grapes'

It is nonsense to suggest that the four council members who also sit on the board of SIF have a "vested interest" in the continuation of the mutual fund and should have done the "honourable thing" by abstaining from the vote (The Lawyer, 9 March). I challenge anyone to explain precisely what form this "vested interest" is supposed to take.

Peter Williamson, Paul Venton, George Staple and Angus Andrew were appointed to the board by the council in order to represent its views and safeguard the interests of the profession. They each give up a great deal of their time every year in order to serve the profession in this way and receive no remuneration whatsoever for their pains.

By virtue of them having sat on the SIF board for some time, these four have a technical knowledge of indemnity insurance and are more aware of the many issues involved in the debate than many other Council members. This surely qualifies rather than disqualifies them to speak and vote on the debate.

Rather than hurling sour grapes, the opponents of SIF might be advised to consider how they can follow the example of our four board members and give more of their time to promoting the greater good of the profession as a whole instead of their own self interest.

Finally, The Lawyer nailed its own colours to the mast very early in the indemnity debate and since that time has campaigned vigorously for the demise of SIF.

Should I give up hope of it ever accepting that a significant proportion of the profession simply does not share this ambition?

Elizabeth Mullins, director of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund