NEWS: Upheaval at Law Society as Merricks set to quit

The Law Society faces further upheaval in its in-house PR operation following the latest resignation by a senior official at the solicitors’ body.

The Law Society faces further upheaval in its in-house PR operation

following the latest resignation by a senior official at the solicitors’

body.



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.



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