Law Society president David McIntosh is under fire from Law Society Council members for spending a reputed £200,000 of funds on foreign travel
During his one-year presidency, McIntosh has visited a total of 12 foreign countries in eight trips abroad. At the next council meeting on 5 May, McIntosh will be asked why he appears to have spent so much time and money on foreign travel. According to a Law Society spokesperson, McIntosh has spent "a few days" on each trip. On this estimate, he has spent a minimum of 24 working days abroad and a maximum of 32 in the last eight months. This amounts to between five and six weeks of working time abroad since his first trip to the American Bar Association Conference in August last year. Christopher Digby-Bell, the council member who intends to spearhead the debate about McIntosh's travel in the next council meeting, said he has obtained the figure of £200,000 from Chancery Lane staff. "I spoke to Chancery Lane insiders, who assured me that £200,000 was not an excessive figure," he said. In the last eight months, McIntosh has visited Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Korea, Austria, Italy and Spain. He visited the US and Canada on the same trip. He also visited Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong together and Japan and Korea together. The spokesperson did not divulge the actual amount of money that McIntosh spent on the trips, but did say that £200,000 was much too high. "As you'd expect, [McIntosh] will travel business class and stay in reasonably priced hotels," the spokesperson said. The president of the Law Society of Scotland Martin McAllister has four trips abroad timetabled in for the next 12 months. He is expected not to travel business class for European trips, and often uses budget airlines such as easyJet or Go, a spokesperson said. The Law Society spokesperson said that all the trips that the president has been on have been to represent the profession or the Law Society at international events, or have been in response to the requests of City firms over their representation rights abroad.