After only a week in office, the new president-elect of the Law Society, Michael Napier, is already courting controversy.
A proposal that was originally thrown out by the Law Society council earlier in the year sees the president’s position receive an extra £27,500 on top of his basic salary.
This bonus is intended to compensate Irwin Mitchell, of which Napier is senior partner, for any loss of fees incurred as a result of his new responsibilities. It will be paid directly to the firm.
A spokesperson for the Law Society says: “It’s a way of opening up the presidency to all legal practitioners, even those in high street practices.”
But many solicitors see it as sending out the wrong message to small firms, which have difficulty meeting ever-increasing society fees.
The decision comes on the day that the society voted to double the amount that solicitors are required to pay to its Compensation Fund.