Law Soc pre-empts 'useless' claims with communications shake-up

A LAW Society shake-up to improve links with the profession coincides with a Welsh assault on its communications department.

The department has been described as a “useless administrative wart” by one disgruntled public relations officer.

The Associated Law Societies of Wales has passed

resolutions calling for the “curtailment” of centralised public relations activities and the abolition of the Public Relations Advisory Board (Prab) with the devolution of its training functions to the regions.

But a threat from the body's own public relations officer, Glyn Williams, that it may instigate calls for the disbandment of the Law Society's entire communications directorate has been overtaken by events.

The Law Society has

announced a re-organisation of its London-based departments “to improve communication with the profession”.

One of the changes is the carving up of the current communications division with a new corporate and

regional affairs directorate closely linked to the presid-ent's office taking over control of the society's communications activities.

The new directorate will be headed by Andrew Lockley whose commitment to develop regional offices may help to mollify the Welsh Law Societies.

Williams says the Law Society has so far been “clueless” in its attempts to communicate with the profession

“That is why, so very late in the day, roadshows are rushed around the country, a wasteful activity in that they communicate only with those who feel some concern, and not with the vast majority who have lost heart in their cynicism,” he says.

Peter Davies, the secretary of the Associated Law Societies of Wales, adds: “It may be central initiatives are a good thing but they need to be topped and tailed and applied by the regions.”

Walter Merricks, the current communications head, says the functions of the directorate will remain and that the Welsh threats of calls for its abolition are a co-


However, he adds sensible suggestions for improvements will be considered.