Sunday 22 October 2017

Law Society paid president more than €2,000 a week

Law Society director Ken Murphy says there is a huge time commitment required to perform the role
Law Society director Ken Murphy says there is a huge time commitment required to perform the role

Gordon Deegan

THE Law Society last year paid its elected president more than €2,000 per week to fulfil his duties.

The €110,000 subvention to the president is revealed in the Law Society's accounts for 2012, which show that it added almost €4m to its cash pile last year. Its cash reserves rose from €9.6m to €13.5m, with overall reserves topping €24.5m.

The subvention was last year shared between Donald Binchy, who served as president until November, and the current president James McCourt – a partner at Dublin 4 firm O'Mara, Geraghty, McCourt Solicitors – who began his one-year term on November 2.

The €110,000 paid out under the heading of 'president's subvention' follows a similar €110,000 payout in 2011.

The decision to remunerate the president follows a Law Society decision in 1996 that the role should receive a subvention.

Law Society director Ken Murphy said yesterday: "This was in recognition of the huge time commitment required to perform the role and its negative financial impact, as a consequence, both on the president and on his or her practice."

The president's is the only remuneration disclosed for any individual in the report.

SALARY

The Law Society does not reveal the salary received by Mr Murphy and his executive colleagues, pointing out that this is underpinned by clear legal advice so that the society complies with its contractual and statutory obligations to its employees. However, the society's accounts for 2012 show its 121 employees shared €7.6m – or an average of €63,223 each.

A recent consultant's report on pay for the society's executives found "the current governance structure and processes for managing reward in the Law Society are working well".

The Towers Watson report states: "There are good processes in place for determining basic salary increases for executives and for the director general and also for determining base salary levels for new entrants."

Mr Murphy said yesterday that the finances of the society stabilised last year "having experienced financial traumas over the previous four years or so".

The sixfold increase in profit to €2.2m last year followed its income increasing marginally from €22.5m to €22.6m.

The society generated 54pc of its income from membership fees and subscriptions totalling €12.1m, with an additional €8.5m generated from education activities.

Irish Independent

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