Medium-sized City partners accept need for MDPs

The majority of the senior partners of more than 20 medium-sized City law firms agreed that multidisciplinary partnerships were inevitable at a meeting to discuss Law Society policy with the society's president Tony Girling.

The meeting, which took place last week, was called by Beachcroft Stanleys senior partner and former cabinet minister David Hunt who said he had detected a gap between what medium-sized law firms wanted and what the Law Society was doing.

But Girling said there was recognition at the meeting that the Law Society was involved in some issues which “were very relevant”, such as advocacy rights for solicitors, multi-disciplinary practices and education and training .

He said he had expected some criticism from the firms with regard to the unexpected 30 per cent hike in Solicitors Indemnity Fund contributions, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the move had been greeted without hostility.

“There was acceptance of what had happened and that we have set up a review group to look at the mutuality status of SIF,” said Girling.

Macfarlanes senior partner Vanni Treves said “there was barely restrained fury” at the lack of progress on solicitors obtaining admission rights to the High Court. He also said that the majority of senior partners there, though not all, agreed that MDPs were inevitable and that rather than seeing how they could be stopped, regulation of them should be considered.