Law Soc examines grass roots setup

A LAW Society Commission has been set up this month to carry out the first major review of the workings of all 127 local law societies in England and Wales.

The commission will examine the role and function of local law societies, including the 12 regional law societies, with a view to 'raising their status and profile with their own members, and to strengthen their partnership with the Law Society generally'.

Society President Charles Elly outlined his particular concern that they consider “the arrangements that some societies have established for handling complaints and consider whether these are capable of being extended”.

The review is considered appropriate given the piecemeal development of such societies, some of which pre-date the national body.

Council member John Aucott will chair the commission.

As a former president of the Birmingham Law Society, Aucott says that he is aware of the importance of local law societies, and “wants to ensure that their influence and independence are enhanced”.

The remaining 11 members, including secretary David Sharples, are all local law society officials.

Manchester Law Society spokesman Victor Hassan comments: “If this is going to result in greater efficiency, and the Law Society being more sympathetic to the views of the local law societies, then it is to be welcomed.”

The commission will hold its first meeting on 31 January and is due to report with its recommendations on 5 October.