An appalling way to run the OSS

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4640, e-mail, DX44700 Soho Square.

I refer to the article in The Lawyer (2 August) concerning the suspension of Peter Ross as director of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) and the resignation of Howard Hardy.

I feel very strongly on the issue of Peter Ross, having been closely involved with him over many months in the resolution of a case which, thanks to his personal work and involvement, was resolved very satisfactorily in favour of my client.

No one could have worked harder or more diligently to improve the situation at the OSS, and all the information about workload and backlog had been in the public domain for many months. I think his suspension is appalling, both for him and his staff and I have written to the president of the Law Society to this effect.

I have also spoken with Howard Hardy and congratulated him on his decision to resign, both as a council member and as chairman of the compliance and supervision committee.

If Peter Ross' salary is as quoted, then his work deserved at least three times as much.

Given the desire of the Lord Chancellor and the Government to move towards external regulation of lawyers, the suspension gives them cause on a plate: if the Law Society does not, apparently, have confidence in its director of the OSS, they have every right to think that we no longer have the ability to manage ourselves.

Margaret Neville, solicitor