Building on firm ground

May I respond on behalf of the Law Society and its staff to the charge of no-can-doism levelled at us by Gerald Funnell in his letter in The Lawyer 27 August.

If, as was suggested, the society was unhelpful in providing a lead for firms into this area, why did it establish the Solicitors Financial and Property Services Company in 1988 with the objective of giving assistance to solicitors entering into property selling. At the time this company was treated with suspicion by the Solicitors' Property Group, which should have been working with it.

The society's position on the issue of property centres has always been supportive as well.

May I remind the SPG that their representative on the SFPSC was a property seller from what was then the largest property centre in England and Wales. That centre has, I believe, closed and now only two remain in this country.

May I also remind them that in 1989 the society attempted to establish a property centre in Bromley. This project proved unviable due to its timing – at the start of a very deep slump in the property market. It is to this that Ms Aldred was referring in The Lawyer. She spent a considerable amount of time getting the Bromley project together which is why it is unfortunate that she was singled out in Mr Funnell's letter as being the manifestation of the no-can-doism to which he refers.

The society's support continues and the issue of property selling was identified some time ago as an issue for my committee to consider again and I will be visiting the Scottish property centres next month to see first hand what is happening.

It would be helpful if the SPG focused their efforts in working with the society on this issue rather than criticising from outside and in such a public manner.

Richard Hegarty

Chairman, property and commercial services committee.