No factions in council

An item appears on the front page of The Lawyer, 28 November which creates the wrong impression.

We have been anxious to ensure that the work of the Law Society Council is unhindered and a much-needed programme for reform is pursued for the benefit of our profession.

When each of us was approached by our president and asked if we would be willing to be part of a group of council members upon whom he would be able to call for advice, we saw this as an opportunity to repair some of the damage that has been caused and to ensure our president did not feel isolated from his council.

Indeed we consider that any council member, if asked by the president if he or she can be called upon for advice at any time, should provide that support for the president.

In our discussions with the president, each of us made it clear we were against the formation of any faction or party within the council. Insofar as we have joined a "group" this was on the basis that membership should be open to all. The object would be to create greater unity in the council, not the opposite.

The president never asked that we should do what he asked us to do. We therefore wish to stress most strongly there has never been any question of us voting as directed by someone else. If we decided to vote together, then this would be after the fullest discussion and by common agreement.

Each of us would reserve the right to vote differently if that was thought appropriate. As council members we represent our constituents and endeavour to use our judgment in the best interests of the profession and those whom we represent.

The fact we have offered our support to our president should not be misconstrued. We have discussed the contents of this letter with the president and he entirely accepts our position.

Angela Deacon


David Savage

Foster Savage & Gordon


David Keating

Smith & Graham