Napier to make big decision this week

Michael Napier is due to announce this week whether he is to stand against Michael Mathews in this summer's Law Society presidential elections.

Last week David McIntosh guaranteed a contested election by putting his name forward for vice-president against Robert Sayer, the current deputy vice-president.

In a letter to council members Napier, senior partner at Irwin Mitchell, said he wanted to avoid the speculation running on for much longer.

Responding to criticism from Sayer, that the profession did not want a divisive election, he wrote: “Nobody was surprised or voiced disapproval of last year's elections for all three office holder's positions.”

He said that despite a recent customer focus survey show-ing dissatisfaction in the profession with contested elections he did not believe it was “trenchantly opposed to the further use of open democracy for the right reasons in the choice of its leaders”.

In a different statement he gave his backing to McIntosh: “He will be the right person in the right place at the right time.” But the the various candidates are already being viewed cynically by some council members. Former president Martin Mears said last year McIntosh had emphasised how damaging contested elections were. Backing the Sayer/Mathews ticket, he asked: “What has changed?”

As for his former comrade Sayer, Mears said: “He must now, I fear, meditate on the usual fate of those who change their colours. God is not mocked!”