Reputation is everything

Coverage in The Lawyer (21 May) of the Law Society initiatives requires clarification to avoid confusion. You say: "Solicitors must be wondering what has happened to cost cutting at Chancery Lane."

There are a number of issues, of which cost is just one. Of course the society requires an all-embracing strategy to address its communication needs. It is this that has driven us to consult experts. No one organisation has been hired to do anything yet. J Walter Thompson Co had a brief to look at ways to enhance the image of solicitors and encourage the public to see them as more approachable. Lowe Bell was asked to look at the PR implications of the forthcoming legal aid campaign. It was they who broadened their approach, to explore improving the reputation of the Law Society with MPs and other opinion formers.

You say such initiatives have been tried before, yet "Mr Whatsisname" was over 20 years ago. Two decades of consumerism have bred sophisticated consumer of legal services and a very different economy. The Law Society of Scotland's campaign to which you refer also had its faults in execution, tone and approach. At least they tried.

Repairing images costs money. There are two sides to the coin. Client care is the long term strategy that can improve the image of the profession. The Law Society is working on various initiatives aimed at the profession. The way clients regard solicitors, and the way opinion formers regard the Law Society are important issues that need tackling.

Why be so negative about the motives? Why close down any options before they have been properly explored?

Jayne Farrin

Head of PR

Solicitors Complaints Bureau