Bahl in counter-attack against Society chief

Two senior Society staff members have so far made official complaints against Bahl of bullying and harassment , although further allegations are understood to be pending.

Bahl has engaged lawyers from Lewis Silkin to fight her corner, who, according to reports, have written to Sayer accusing him of "unfitting and inappropriate" conduct and of trying to "physically remove" Bahl.

Sayer, it is claimed, cancelled Bahl's meetings, set up the bullying investigative panel without telling her and tried to oust her from the Society offices after the complaints of harassment against her were made.

A Law Society spokeswoman says: "We are not aware of any complaint being pursued. If there were such a complaint, he [Sayer] would strenuously deny it."

Retired law lord, Lord Griffiths of Govilon has been appointed by the Master of the Rolls to head the inquiry into the allegations against Bahl. He will be accompanied by two assessors, one of whom will be an employment specialist.

The inquiry, which will be funded by the Society and held in private, has already drawn criticism from the profession, with some lawyers complaining that "this farce" is a waste of their practising certificate cash.

Bahl is the first woman and the first ethnic minority to reach such a high position within the Law Society.

The Society of Black Lawyers have already joined the fray, accusing the Society of waging a "campaign of bullying and intimidation" to prevent Bahl becoming the Society's first Asian president this summer