Points wide of the mark

Your 4 October edition had a number of interesting articles about what the membership thinks of the Law Society's leadership and functions. Geoffrey Adams of Cardiff is wide of the mark on two matters he mentions.

The first is the history of franchising negotiations. The society did not suddenly "decide to consult with the profession" earlier this year. Nor did we then first recognise a "hidden agenda of the Legal Aid Board or Lord Chancellor". This year's negotiations were part of a process of discussion with the LAB which has been going on for five years.

This year's may have been the most high profile negotiations, but over the five-year period the society has persuaded the board not to impose many unacceptable franchising requirements.

Neither did the society suddenly decide to discourage practitioners from applying for legal aid franchises. The society's stance earlier this year was to dissuade them from entering into franchise contracts until we had obtained the best possible deal.

The united response made by the profession strengthened our position considerably.

Geoffrey Adam's second error was in relation to conditional fees. He alleges that the Law Society has been delaying the implementation of conditional fees. It is the Lord Chancellor who has had responsibility for progressive successive drafts of conditional fees regulations since the enabling legislation was passed in 1990. Criticise us by all means, but let's get the facts right.

Andrew Lockley

Director Legal Practice

The Law Society

London WC2A 1SX