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Martin Mears has announced that he may withdraw from this summer's Law Society presidential race following the move by his former comrade-in-arms, Robert Sayer, to join forces with Phillip Sycamore, the current vice-president.
Mears, who announced last month that he would stand for the presidency again this year, is now weighing up his options in the light of Sayer's decision to stand as deputy vice-president on a joint ticket with Sycamore and the current deputy vice-president Michael Mathews.
Although he is still gauging the level of support for a third presidential bid, Mears said he was aware that he could not carry on editing his anti-Law Society magazine Caterpillar as well as being president.
"I have got to decide what is the most useful contribution I can make," he said. "I have not been interested in being president for its own sake."
A controversial president in 1995 and a narrow loser last year, Mears is looking closely at the reforms Sycamore, Mathews and Sayer, his former vice-president, are promising, before making a final decision.
One of the key planks of the Sycamore/Sayer platform will be the introduction of external consultants to investigate Law Society activities and finances, a long-standing Sayer policy which has, up until now, been resisted by the Law Society.
Yet there is some confusion as to whether there will be an external audit committee made up of business people and lawyers, as Sayer suggested, or the Law Society will employ consultants as they are needed, as Sycamore advocated.
The pair have agreed that external consultants should not carry out an expensive top-to-bottom review of the society and have promised to produce a joint manifesto before the close of nominations on 4 June.