The soap opera that needs to be axed

As the legal profession's favourite Aunt Sally, Kamlesh Bahl, loses, sulks and then sues, the soap opera-like farce is set to run and run until it reaches an ugly and pathetic


Wherever the profession turns it will face Law Society luminaries past and present engaging in a sordid and very public battle. After years of self-important posturing, petty political machinations and personal vendettas, the supposedly leading legal figures in the country have dragged the profession into the sort of sad and sleazy situation which we thought was limited to the Tory party.

This is emblematic of the chaos of SIF and the lack of focus around MDPs. What should be the public face of the law has become the public farce of the profession.

While firms win massive amounts of new business building their national and international profiles against hostile government attacks and international bureaucracy, its own professional body plays games. While multinational businesses choose City firms to head multibillion pound deals and find that London – and increasingly regional firms – offer a truly global service, the Law Society publicly implodes.

Of course these transnational clients are not going to flee London because of the goings-on at Chancery Lane, but while Sayer, Bahl, their respective camps and hangers-on bicker, they distract the public and profession from the real issues. Lawyers should be challenging government hostility, bureaucratic barriers to business and an image of fat cat out-of-touch anachronisms, not offering fuel to those fires.

The Law Society is incapable of running its own affairs. It should not be running or even representing those in the profession.

Like the farce over Labour's choice of mayoral candidate, if the incumbent will not step down, it is time to stand as an independent. City firms should take the initiative and lobby the Government for the right to represent themselves.