Law Soc ballots members over halving officer compensation

CASH compensation for the firms of Law Society office-holders may be halved following a call for the amounts to be fixed to legal aid rates.

A postal ballot is to be held to decide the issue after an amendment to the new rules was proposed by solicitor Michael Ellman.

Ellman wants compensation levels linked to 1,000 hours of green form aid rather than the salary of a High Court Judge.

If the profession votes in favour, the president's firm can expect to receive about u45,000 instead of u90,000. The vice-president and deputy vice-president would receive u22,500 and u11,250 respectively.

But the council is against the move because the new rates do not adequately reflect the time spent on Law Society matters by office-holders.

A statement, to be circulated with the ballot papers, says: “Last year the president on society duties worked considerably more than 2,000 hours, including 29 weekends. To compare that with a theoretical 1,000 hours on green form work is misconceived.

“The fee-earning potential of any candidate for president is unlikely to be less than the u90,000 which has been agreed by the council as the level of compensation for the coming year.”