The President of the Law Society, David Greene, has announced that he will step aside later this month, citing the ‘distraction’ of a long-running client dispute. David Greene, senior partner at Edwin Coe, will be succeeded by the current vice president, I. Stephanie Boyce, on 19 March.
The development comes following a High Court ruling in January that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal should hear in full a private prosecution brought against Greene by a former client over a costs issue. The Solicitors Regulation Authority, which would usually bring prosecutions before the tribunal, had considered the client’s allegations but did not pursue the case.
Announcing his decision to step aside, Greene said:
‘In the past few weeks, a long-running issue to do with a dispute with a former client has been sent back to the SDT in a lay complaint following a decision in the High Court which is itself subject to appeal. This case dates back a decade and has been repeatedly thrown out and I fully expect it to be rejected again.
“However, the fact that this dispute has been referred back to the SDT during my presidential year will, I fear, become a distraction from my role representing the solicitor profession – at a time when it is facing a period of unprecedented challenge.
“So, it is with profound regret that I have decided to step aside from my role as president of the Law Society of England and Wales during the currency of proceedings, with effect from 19 March instead of at the end of my term this October.’
’I wish my successor as president, I. Stephanie Boyce, who will fill the vacancy created and the rest of the organisation well for the future. It has been a deep privilege to represent my profession as an office holder over the past two and a half years.’
I. Stephanie Boyce said:
“I’d like to thank David for his many years of service to the legal profession, not just as president but as vice and deputy vice president and before that as a long-standing member of the Law Society council where he holds the international practice seat.
“His passion and expertise for the international work of the Law Society, human rights and the rule of law made him the ideal candidate to deal with the many and complex challenges the profession faces and in good stead to help steer the profession through the end of the UK-EU transition period in December.”
Legal News Wales would like to thank David Greene for his support during his presidency and in particular, his time at our opening event on St David’s Day last week.