Girling counters Mears' attack

Law Society president Tony Girling has responded to a vitriolic attack by his predecessor over staff management at the Law Society by claiming “you can't possibly let sentiment get in the way of good management”.

Girling was replying to a backbiting letter from former president Martin Mears, sent to council members and seen by The Lawyer, in which he accused Girling of driving Jane Hern out of the Law Society.

Hern's job – director of management planning – was abolished in an internal manage- ment shake-up last August. She was offered a redundancy package and invited to apply for the post of director of policy – an offer she has turned down.

But Mears claimed that, despite the invitation, there “was no prospect whatsoever” of her getting the job. He said: “Has a single one of Jane Hern's 'friends' at the Law Society spoken up for her?” and added: “better Mears as an enemy than friends like this!”

The letter has sparked off a row about Law Society leadership, and prompted a further letter, defending Girling, from council member David McIntosh, senior partner at Davies Arnold Cooper. He accused Mears of giving “a further impression of your intent to seek every opportunity to undermine our new President”.

Girling dismissed Mears' allegations saying: “Jane was invited to consider the job, but against the background of who else might be considered for it.”