Legal circles are buzzing with rumours of a number of contenders stepping forward to challenge Martin Mears for presidency of the Law Society.
The latest names in circulation are Phillip Sycamore, of Londales and current chair of the Law Society's civil litigation committee, and Kamlesh Bahl, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Other names include Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president Michael Napier, of Irwin Mitchell, and deputy vice-president Tony Girling, of Girlings.
Lesley MacDonagh, joint managing partner of City firm Lovell White Durrant, has also been mentioned as a possible contender, as has Eileen Pembridge, of Fisher Meridith.
Only Pembridge has confirmed her intention to stand against Mears in the event of no other contender coming forward. "I could not stand by and allow Mears to go unchallenged. This should not be personalised - my overriding concern is that Mears is bad for the profession."
However, Mears has played down speculation of a challenge and blamed the Press for misrepresenting comments at the recent Women Lawyers II conference. "No one is coming forward to challenge me despite the plethora of adverse coverage," he said. "I speak to local law society members regularly and so called grassroots disquiet is a media myth."