NEWS: Law Society fills comms gap with Calahane hiring

The Law Society has appointed Barbara Cahalane as its first director of communications, ending a seven-month hiatus at the top of its public relations machine.

The Law Society has appointed Barbara Cahalane as its first director of

communications, ending a seven-month hiatus at the top of its public

relations machine.



A former barrister and currently head of PR at the Chartered Association

of Certified Accountants, Cahalane joins the Law Society on 9 December.

She will lead a staff of around 20, with responsibility for both

internal and external communications.



More specifically, Cahalane has been briefed to develop a corporate

communications strategy for the society and oversee press relations and

government and parliamentary affairs. She will also supervise ongoing

legal campaigns and the work of the Law Society’s regional offices based

in Cardiff, Bristol, Preston, Wakefield and Cambridge. She will report

to the society’s new secretary general Jane Betts.



A new post, Cahalane’s job combines the roles of corporate and regional

affairs director and head of PR, latterly held by Andrew Lockley and Sue

Stapely respectively.



Both Lockley and Stapely quit the Law Society earlier this year

following well-publicised disagreements with former president Martin

Mears. Lockley returned to legal practice while Stapley joined Fishburn

Hedges as a director in June.



David McNeill, media relations officer at the Law Society, admitted that

recent internecine disputes had thrown up the need for a clearer

communications strategy. ‘We want to ensure that when there is debate it

is open and informed rather than reminiscent of nails scratching down

the blackboard,’ he said.



* Max Clifford will give a talk at the annual conference of local Law

Society Public Relations Officers on how solicitors should handle media

interest in themselves and their clients on 27 November.



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