Law Soc plans opposed

Four of the UK's largest regional law societies are joining forces to appeal to the Law Society council over its plans to restructure a number of committees.

Members of the Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham law societies agreed to send a letter about the Law Society's governance.

Their concern follows a report by the society's reform working party that could result in many of the current 160 committees and sub committees being replaced by short-term taskforces.

Nigel Puddicombe, vice president of Bristol Law Society, says a number of the Law Society's specialist committees in areas such as civil litigation and criminal law mirror those set up at regional organisations. “These committees give a focal point to the regional societies. These are useful bridges that should be kept in place,” he says.

Peter Rhodes, president of the Liverpool Law Society says: “We wouldn't want them to throw the baby out with the bath water. The specialist committees do a good job and they must look at how this can be accommodated.”

David McNeill, head of press at the Law Society, says: “This issue is of great importance to the society. It would be inconceivable that the role of the specialist committees would be diminished.”