Law Soc's Hern bides her time as redundancy package offered

Former Law Society director of management planning Jane Hern – whose job was abolished by the internal shake-up of new secretary general Jane Betts in August – is expected to announce her plans for the future early this week.

Hern has been offered the new post of director of policy or the option of taking a redundancy package, believed to be substantial.

Late last week, Hern said she was taking legal advice but that an announcement in her future was imminent.

Hern has been at home on full pay since her job was axed. One insider said she had been “pretty devastated” at what some see as an attempt to force out the last of former secretary general John Hayes' appointees.

She said: “I'm considering my options and I don't want to comment till I've announced my decision, but I shall certainly have some things to say after that.”

Hern's effective suspension is one of several controversies that have marred the first few months of Tony Girling's presidency.

Girling recently had to defer the appointment of former vice-president Robert Sayer as deputy treasurer, until a formal election is held later in the presidential year, because of protests from some members.

Girling had personally approved Sayer as the new deputy treasurer, and hoped to rush through his appointment on the nod at the next council meeting on 18 September.

But in a memo to council members, Girling conceded: “Having pressed the council into an instant decision concerning the appointment of the deputy vice-president as treasurer, I do not want to force a rushed decision on his successor.” The issue will now merely be discussed at the meeting on 18 September.

Girling appointed deputy vice-president Michael Mathews treasurer when his predecessor, Michael Howells, was forced to resign after details of a Solicitors Complaints Bureau investigation were made public.