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THE LEGAL Aid Practitioners Group has endorsed Eileen Pembridge's campaign for the Law Society presidency.
Pembridge, senior partner of Fisher Meredith, has also taken on past LAPG chair Stephen Gilchrist to run her campaign.
Gilchrist, of Gilchrists, promises firm support for Pembridge from the group and says he is hopeful several other special interest groups will also support her.
LAPG chair Lyn Devonald says: "We represent a lot of individual solicitors and I think we could have considerable influence on the election."
The LAPG, which has 700 firms on its books, is also backing deputy vice president Henry Hodge's candidacy for the vice presidency.
On accepting Pembridge's request for backing, Gilchrist wrote to the Law Society to establish ground rules for the first contested presidential fight in decades.
He asks whether the Law Society will be limiting the money spent on campaigning by the candidates and whether it will help fund campaigns and organise election meetings.
Vice-president John Young, due to establish a campaign team with Hodge, welcomes hustings, but rubbishes any suggestion that the backing of his City firm puts him at an advantage. To be seen "throwing money around" would be counter productive, he says.
The other candidate Martin Mears was away last week, but in a letter to all council members he said he respected Young, but identified Pembridge as the "left wing/pc" candidate. Pembridge says the letter patronises the council and will backfire.