The chairman of the Law Society's Compliance and Supervision Committee has resigned his chair and council seat following the suspension of Office for
the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) boss Peter Ross.
Sources say Howard Hardy was “disgusted” at the “witch-hunt” of Ross and
his team and felt compelled to stand down both from the committee, which
oversees the work of the OSS, and the council.
Ross was suspended last week on full pay from his u74,000-a-year post
pending investigation into why letters – warning complainants that they may
have to wait a year before their complaints are dealt with – were sent out
without society approval.
The Law Society's secretary-general Jane Betts has taken over management
of the OSS, which still has a backlog of 25,000 complaints. Hardy was
unavailable for comment but one source says: “Whether Ross's suspension was
justified is another issue, but I think Howard, being a loyal council
member who chaired this committee, felt he should stand by Ross.”
Council member Tony Bogan claims Hardy's resignation will send “a shock
wave through the society”.
He says: “Here is an elected member who gives his time freely and the fact
that he felt it necessary to resign shows there is something radically
wrong within the system.”
Law Society president Robert Sayer says: “I regretfully confirm that
Howard has resigned from the council and the compliance and supervision
committee. I have invited him to meet me to discuss this issue and that
invitation remains open.