One need look no further than the saga of the minimum salary rule for evidence of how out of touch Chancery Lane is with the profession.
With the intention of listening, the Law Society invited the profession to express its views on the issue. It was well known that the number of responses received was greater than in any other recent consultation exercise, and 70 per cent of respondents to the consultation paper on the issue said the minimum salary rule should be abolished.
Notwithstanding this clear message, the sub-committee of the training committee, of which I was chair, was unable to put its own views aside and endorse those of the profession at large. The training committee also preferred its own view. Now we learn that the council has similarly told the profession what it can do with its views.
There are three lessons to be learned from this:
the Trainee Solicitors Group is a formidable and much feared lobbying group, which, knows that real power lies at Chancery Lane and not with the profession;
the council of the Law Society has lost sight of its role, which is to represent the profession rather than to govern it;
elections at Chancery Lane are here to stay as they seem to be the only means left to the profession to make its views heard. It is time to extend the process to all council seats.