Former Law Society president Martin Mears is understood to be considering standing once again for the presidency in this summer's elections.
If Mears does stand it will be his fourth successive contest following victory in 1995 and defeats by Tony Girling and Phillip Sycamore in the last two years.
However, there is speculation that Mears is planning to stand for the vice-presidency against his political enemy Robert Sayer, allowing his old ally, David Keating, to stand for president. He declined to comment when contacted by The Lawyer.
Last week, Irwin Mitchell senior partner Michael Napier ended weeks of speculation by entering the presidential race and challenging current vice-president Michael Mathews.
Napier said: "The profession needs the strongest possible leadership at this watershed time for solicitors. My broad knowledge of practitioners' problems, my direct involvement in today's crucial issues and my experience of five years on the council mean that this is the right time for me to be president."
As widely predicted, Napier will stand on a ticket with David McIntosh, senior partner of Davies Arnold Cooper and vice-presidential candidate.
Mathews expressed his "disappointment" at Napier's challenge. He also strongly denied rumours that he was preparing to stand aside for Napier.
Mathews said that, if Mears did stand, he was "in danger of becoming the Screaming Lord Sutch of the Law Society".