Law Soc’s £2m folly

The Law Society has spent a staggering £2m in consultancy fees over the past two years, including £1m on advice relating to its much maligned IT programme Project Engineer.

The Law Society spent £160,000 on consultancy advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers over last year’s proposed £48m relocation of its regulatory section into a single Midlands office, which was ultimately aborted.

Figures confirmed by the Law Society also reveal that £190,000 has been spent on public, and press relations advice and £116,500 on branding and what the society describes as “visual identity” matters.

The consultancy bill does not include the £2m that the Law Society has spent on legal advice defending the ongoing allegations brought by former vice-president Kamlesh Bahl.

A spokesperson for the Law Society said: “The society has spent just under £2m over two years. That represents about one per cent of our turnover, which is in excess of £80m a year.

“The consultants we use provide expertise that is not available within the society itself. This is a cost-effective way of boosting our resources in technical or specialist fields on a short-term basis.”

However, the spokesperson did admit that the £2m would otherwise have been spent on staff.