Lowe bows out with rebuke to critics

DEPARTING Solicitors Complaints Bureau head Veronica Lowe has defended her record with an upbeat forecast for the future of complaints handling.

Lowe stood down from her post this week with the news that demand for inspections of solicitors' accounts was falling and contributions to the compensation fund were likely to be lower next year.

“The bureau is poised at a crucial point in its evolution. Its workload is now controlled and managed in a more professional manner than ever before,” she said.

The last few months have been extremely difficult for Lowe.

The bureau was at the centre of the Law Society presidential elections in the summer while, more recently, she was caught in the middle of a political row over her pay-off, which society president Martin Mears unsuccessfully tried to block.

A measure of her frustration over the constant criticisms of the bureau can be gauged by her furious reaction to a suggestion by former Sole Practitioners' Group head Arnold Rosen in last week's issue of The Lawyer that she had been disloyal to the society.

In a letter in this week's edition she says the accusation is “inaccurate, scurrilous and unworthy”.

Earlier this month Lowe was presented with a British Standards Institution quality standard ISO 9002 award by Lord Mackay. She thanked staff for their commitment, support and enthusiasm.