The Law Society faces further upheaval in its in-house PR operation
following the latest resignation by a senior official at the solicitors’
Walter Merricks, the society’s director of professional and legal policy
and acting director of corporate and regional affairs, this week
announced his intention to quit the Society at the end of August to
become Insurance Ombudsman.
His resignation follows that of Sue Stapely, head of PR, last month (PR
Week, 12 April) and corporate and regional affairs director Andrew
Lockley in March, leaving the Law Society short of PR support during the
most controversial period in its history.
Four top officials have quit since the election of Martin Mears as Law
Society president last July. Mears, who beat the official candidate in
the first contested election for 40 years, has made no secret of his
frustration with incumbent officials, accusing them of blocking his
proposed reforms. Lockley and Stapely were identified by him as people
he felt unable to work with.
In a separate move, the Society has called on Lowe Bell Consultants to
help restore its tattered public image.
At a meeting with Society officials last week Sir Tim Bell proposed a PR
initiative to rescue the Society’s reputation among political opinion
formers and the legal profession. The agency already works for the
Society on legal aid reform.