Law Society loosens grip on college

TIES between the Law Society and the College of Law may be loosened if council members approve a proposal to relinquish Chancery Lane's stronghold on the college board.

The proposal, put forward by the society's strategy committee, will go before council at this Thursday's meeting. If passed it will mean the council will give up its constitutional right to approve appointments to the college's board of governors.

In the past critics of the system, including council members and alternative providers of legal education, have said the link between the two bodies – one the regulator – could leave the college open to allegations of favouritism.

But chair of the college's board of management Richard Holbrook says any suggestion that the Law Society is more lenient toward the college than other academic institutions is “a load of nonsense”.

“If anyone is concerned about propriety and doing things right, it's the Law Society,” says Holbrook.

“In recent years the relationship between the college and the Law Society has been very much an arms-length one. This issue really does no more than give constitutional recognition to what has been a de facto situation for some years now.”

Dean of Nottingham Law School Nigel Savage says: “I don't call a situation where the president, the vice-president and the deputy vice-president of the Law Society are all college governors an arms-length relationship. But I welcome this move by the Law Society as a first step in freeing up the college from its links.”