The Law Society has today (24 April) announced that TLT Solicitors senior partner Robert Bourns has been elected as the body’s deputy vice president, with the expectation that he will become president in 2016.
The employment specialist, who prior to taking over as TLT’s longstanding senior partner was the top 60 firm’s managing partner between 1996 and 2002, was one of seven candidates to put themselves forward for the role.
Bourns’ appointment follows months of sustained controversy for the legal profession’s representative body, with calls from some publicly funded solicitors for the resignation of soon-to-retire chief executive Des Hudson and current president Nicholas Fluck, arising from their handling of cuts to legal aid.
Following a vote of no confidence in the Law Society’s leadership, passed by a hair’s breadth at a special general meeting held at Chancery Lane in December, Hudson announced in mid-March that he will retire in July, when Fluck will also stand down, with vice president Andrew Caplen set to take over.
On his recent election, Bourns said: ‘The Law Society has an incredibly important job to do in maintaining trust and confidence across a diverse profession. Representing in-house and general counsel alongside private practice both large and small. The Society needs to provide contemporary support and promote the interests of members and their clients. In the context of continuing changes to regulation it should be recognised for its relentless protection of the rule of law.
‘Being elected deputy vice president is an honour, particularly given the experience and different qualities of the six other able candidates.’
Hudson said: ‘There was stiff competition with seven candidates for this year’s deputy vice president elections. All of the candidates had a great deal to offer and council had a difficult choice to make.’