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