Law soc officials win pay rises

LAW society and Bar association presidents in Europe and America are to receive large pay rises.

The American Bar Association, at its conference earlier this month, voted for the first time to pay its top officials. The president will receive $100,000 and the vice-president $50,000.

Meanwhile, the presidents of the Law Society of Scotland and the Dutch Bar Association are to have their salaries increased.

The moves follow the English law society's decision to pay its President for the first time. It is proposed to pay a salary of u90,000.

Law Society secretary-general John Hayes attended debates on the subject at the ABA in New Orleans. He says: “There was a one-hour debate which was very lively.”

There was also concern among ABA delegates that candidates on lower incomes should be able to campaign on an equal footing with partners from the top firms.

Law Society Council member David Keating says: “It is vital that these positions should be paid. The jobs take up more and more time and firms suffer because one of their partners is tied up. They deserve some compensation.”

A postal ballot will be held to decide whether the Law Society's president should be paid u47,750 – the equivalent of 1,000 hours of legal aid work.