Board member's plans to lobby Law Soc raise conflict concerns

A member of the Law Society's main board has launched the Legal Services Reform Group to lobby the Law Society, attracting conflict of interest allegations from society backbenchers

In-house lawyer Paul Gilbert formed the group in response to the deregulation of the legal services market. Backbenchers are expected to criticise Gilbert's dual role at the Law Society Council meeting next month.
Philip Hamer, the Law Society Council member for Yorkshire, said: “Paul Gilbert is a member of the main board. He'll be getting inside papers on things that his group will be lobbying on and campaigning on things that he has seen in advance as a board member.
“There's a real conflict of interest here. This will be brought up at the next council meeting.”
But Gilbert responded that he did not see a problem in sitting on a board of an organisation that the group he has founded will be lobbying.
“If I'm in conflict I'll declare my interest and stand aside. I'd make my interest known to the board. It's standard on any board to declare an interest and act appropriately,” he said.