City law soc hunts funds for a higher profile

The City of London Law Society is seeking funds to appoint a public relations officer for the first time in its history.

The society's ruling committee decided last month to see if big City firms are prepared to contribute to the cost of a PR officer. Anthony Pugh-Thomas, chairman of the committee, and William King, the master of the London Solicitors' Company, are now passing the begging bowl around senior partners in City firms.

Pugh-Thomas said it had not yet been decided whether to retain a PR company or to employ a full-time officer.

“One would have to cut one's cloth according to what one could squeeze out of firms,” he said. “It wouldn't surprise me if the matter is regarded as slightly controversial.”

The move comes at the urging of the Law Society.

According to Pugh-Thomas, it was “spurred on…by comments made by sundry senior partners at a series of lunches, many of whom thought the society needed to maintain a higher profile”.

King chaired a working party consisting of Pugh-Thomas, Ronnie Fox, senior partner of Fox Williams, Ashurst Morris Crisp senior partner Andrew Soundy, and Dominic Leahy, director of marketing at Freshfields, to discover if having professional PR was worthwhile.