Anthony Julius may take a back seat at Mishcon de Reya in order to take up a planned professorship at University College London (UCL).

The proposed seat at the Faculty of Law would involve him working up to two days a week at the university. This is likely to mean he would have to step out of the equity at Mishcons and take consultancy status, as it would leave him only three days a week for his litigation practice.

UCL, where Julius already conducts part-time lecture courses, has yet to agree to create the chair and will have to find funding for it before Julius can be offered the role.

Julius said that even if he was offered the chair he would have to see how it fits in with 'other obligations'. He said that acting as chair of the board of trustees for the Princess Diana Memorial Fund was taking up 75 per cent of his time.

Some of the national press have called for Julius' resignation from this post claiming a conflict of interest as his firm is billing the fund.

Leading libel lawyer Rupert Grey, who acts as observer on the board of a charity, insisted: 'In my experience, it is a mistake to accept the position of chairman when your firm is solicitor to the board.'

Mishcons spokeswoman Kate Knightley Day, who was at the centre of the storm over fees last week, is working out her notice at the firm. She had only stayed on at the firm because she knew she would be needed for the fund.

See analysis, page 2 and Tulkinghorn