The Law Society agreed to implement a radical face-lift last week in line with proposals made by business troubleshooter and tony Blair confidante Sir Dennis Stevenson.

The Law Society council has agreed to:

elect the deputy vice-president only;

dissolve many of the 140 committees and appoint specific task forces for individual projects;

restrict the number of meetings of the 75-member council and allow it to make only key strategic decisions; and

publicly promote the contribution solicitors make to society, partly by training lawyers in moral legitimacy and by commissioning high-profile essays and lectures into aspects of the law.

The council has appointed a five-member working group, headed by deputy vice-president Kamlesh Bahl, to report back in 10 weeks time on how to implement the programme.

Bahl said: “We want to adopt the higher ground in relation to the debate on the role of the solicitor in society, and focus on issues such as access to justice, and upholding individuals rights against the state.” She said a series of contested elections with a smaller number of voters each time had “not been good for the profession”.

The council also praised the work of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group and urged solicitors and firms to join it.