Chancery Lane's recruitment service wins last-minute reprieve

The recruitment service at the Law Society has been saved at the eleventh hour.

A cost-cutting working party, which has stalled a decision on the future of the service several times in the last year, announced last week that it would be retained, the day before the matter was due to go to council.

The decision was made on condition the service be run as a more commercial venture so it can cover its overheads.

The matter has been the subject of a row between working party members and members of staff and solicitors groups who regarded the service as invaluable.

The service, which provides a recruitment service, a newsletter and general employment advice at a cost of £30,000 a year, has been without a manager since last summer because of the uncertainty of its position.

Three of its four staff have left voluntarily. They were understood to be frustrated by the instability of their jobs. In a report leaked to The Lawyer in May, the society's staff union, MSF, said it was “appaled” by treatment of recruitment staff.

Geoffrey Bignell, director of Law Society services, said: “By focusing on income-generated services we are confident we can cover our costs and help solicitors at the same time. Every other profession has its own recruitment service so it was crucial that it is retained.”