Law Society council votes to pay its members

Law Society council members have voted to pay themselves for time spent in meetings, ignoring warnings that the move will deepen the council’s unpopularity within the profession.

At a full council meeting, vice-president Robert Sayer pleaded with members to reject the idea, claiming the timing for such a move was wrong.

He said: “I have every sympathy with the idea of council members being compensated for loss of time, but this would be a bad time to do this.”

He added that the council must “get in tune with the profession” and be seen to be “efficient in its decision-making” before such a measure could be introduced.

His view was echoed by Bill Heaselgrave, senior partner at Kidderminster firm Thursfields. He said: “We can’t vote to be paid until we can show that we can carry out our functions properly. We are volunteers. Nobody asked us to do it.”

But Nigel Dodds, senior partner at Blyth firm Alderson Dodds, was one of many who spoke in favour of pay for council members. More and more members, he said, are having problems with their firms and the only solution was to pay members.

“The profession isn’t going to like it but the profession is going to have to face it if they want representation,” he said.