Law Society inquiry clears Regis team five of impropriety

A complaint brought against five members of the Law Society's Regis computer project management team by the British Legal Association (BLA) has ended with a finding of no impropriety.

An investigation undertaken by the Compliance and Supervision Committee was concluded in October, exonerating former senior Law Society officials including the then secretary general John Hayes and John Randall, previously director of professional standards and development.

However, Robert Sayer, vice-president of the Law Society says he is surprised the result did not come to light sooner. He was deputy treasurer at the regulatory body in 1996 when he wrote an unofficial report on the matter, on which the BLA based its complaint to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors.

He says: “This was the biggest scandal to hit the law profession. I don't know on what basis the decision was reached but don't forget that at the time the council passed a motion decrying what has occurred.”

The issues surrounding the implementation of Regis, which began in 1992, focused on problems regarding the funding of the project, where monies in the budget set aside for one area were transferred to fund the project without informing the treasury.

However, Randall, now chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, argues that the Secretary General was authorised to make the decision over budget himself.

Alex Alagappa, chairman of the BLA, says that there are no plans to appeal against the ruling, adding: “We are satisfied there was a thorough investigation into the matter.”