Indemnity issue is about choice

Elizabeth Mullins entirely misses the point in her letter (The Lawyer 15 March) in which she demands an explanation of a "vested interest".

In common law it is generally unnecessary to establish the presence of actual bias – it is enough to establish that a reasonable person, acquainted with the circumstances, would have reasonable grounds for suspecting bias.

On that test, there is absolutely no doubt that the four council members who also sit on the board of SIF should have had the sense to abstain from voting, as did a former direc tor of SIF, Andrew Kennedy, who absented himself from the process.

May I suggest that The Lawyer nailed its own colours to the mast very early in the indemnity debate since it quickly recognised the general groundswell of opinion and feeling within the profession.

I should also like to correct the assumption made by Ms Mullins that the profession, let alone The Lawyer, is campaigning for the demise of SIF.

My own position is that I simply demand the right to go to the open market. If, as Ms Mullins suggests, a significant proportion of the profession wish to stay with SIF, then I am happy for them to do so, although I doubt that SIF will be able to survive once its monopoly is broken.

Michael Dalton

Michael Daltons Solicitors