Law Soc's Thomas passes reform torch to members

A MORE responsive and efficient Law Society is the legacy the new Banking Ombudsman David Thomas hopes he will leave behind when he departs Chancery Lane to take up his new post.

Thomas, a senior member of the Law Society Council and chair of Liverpool firm Lees Lloyd, takes over from Laurence Shurman as Banking Ombudsman at the beginning of next year.

In what has been a turbulent year for the Law Society, Thomas maintains he has succeeded in promoting a series of reforms to make the Law Society more efficient.

A reform steering group, set up after Thomas unveiled a controversial blueprint for reform last autumn, has already had proposals approved for a more efficient policy making committee at the society.

And this autumn it plans to consult the profession on the way the society's office holders are elected in a bid to make a smoother transition from one president to another.

The group is also drawing up plans to abolish the system whereby specialist lawyers are appointed to the council, in line with criticisms about the system first aired by vice-president Robert Sayer. It wants specialists to vote their own representatives on to the council.