AN ALL-male Law Society Council line up for the forthcoming presidential elections has prompted scathing “business as usual” accusations from rival candidate Eileen Pembridge.
At its meeting last week the Law Society Council backed deputy vice president Henry Hodge as its candidate for the presidency following vice president John Young's withdrawal from the race after admitting to incidents of sexual harassment.
The council also rejected three shortlisted women candidates including Pembridge when it picked John Aucott, senior partner at Birmingham's Edge & Ellison, and Tony Girling, senior partner at Kent-based Girlings, as its choices for the vice and deputy vice presidency respectively.
Pembridge says allegations and rumours about Young continued even after he was warned two years ago over harassment allegations.
She says council members who were beginning to see it was wrong for Young to have stood for office had encouraged her to put her name forward for the vice presidency which she did in “in the interests of the profession”.
She adds: “It's the same line-up as if nothing had happened except that they've all moved up a rung with John Young's resignation. Women are not going to stand for it.”
v 38 women from Pembridge's firm Fisher Meredith signed a petition supporting her stance on discrimination following revelations of former secretary Angela Kennedy's plans to take a constructive dismissal claim alleging sexual and racial discrimination to an industrial tribunal.