Law Soc drops secrecy plan

In a major U-turn, plans by the Law Society to restrict members access to information have been scrapped.

Three weeks ago The Lawyer reported that next week's council meeting would consider banning members from seeing confidential papers from any committee bar those they sit on, except on a “need to know” basis. But the plan has been dropped – although it may be re-examined in the new council year.

Sources say some council members wanted to introduce the new rules in order to stem a series of damaging leaks from Chancery Lane to The Lawyer, including Tony Girling's plan to reintroduce a “Buggin's turn” system for electing presidents.

But council member Philip Hamer said he believed the plan to introduce the new rules was more “cock-up than conspiracy”. He said that he had asked for a clarification of the rules a year ago and that due to a misunderstanding staff had drawn up the most, rather than the least, restrictive regime possible.

Andrew Hall, head of corporate administration at the Law Society, confirmed the plan had been dropped, but could not comment further.