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Is the Law Society fit for purpose?

The time has come for an honest and open debate about the society’s future and its value to members, says James Parry

2 June 2014

The Law Society of England and Wales is recruiting a chief executive at a salary of £250,000 per year. The offer will seem attractive to those on lesser salaries such as the lord chief justice (£242,000 per year), prime minister (£142,000) or Chris Grayling (£134,565). For solicitors who, according to payscale.com, receive an average salary of £33,177 per year and owners of legal aid practices, many of whom have little but oblivion to look forward to, that offer may appear to be obscene.

At the Special General Meeting on 17 December 2013, which debated a motion of no confidence in the outgoing chief executive, one speaker said the society appeared to pay homage to the “dead white men” whose portraits hang on the walls of Chancery Lane rather than the current membership.

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