Thursday 26 April 2018

President of Law Society is paid €2k per week

Law Society director general Ken Murphy
Law Society director general Ken Murphy

Gordon Deegan

The Law Society is paying its president more than €2,000 a week for the part-time role.

Cork solicitor Simon Murphy succeeded Kevin O'Higgins to become the society's new president last month, and will serve until next November.

Law Society director general Ken Murphy confirmed that the annual payments to the office of Law Society president have remained at €110,000, which works out at €2,115 a week.

The annual Law Society accounts do not disclose Mr Murphy's salary. However, when asked to comment on the payment to the post of president, director general Mr Murphy said: "The purpose of this payment is to enable the president to take the considerable time out from his/her practice required by this demanding role and to allow for employment of additional solicitor(s) in his/her firm if necessary."

The annual report shows that 15 solicitors were struck off in the year to the end of August. Sixteen were struck off in the previous 12-month period.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Murphy said: "There is no doubt that the mechanisms in place to deal with disciplinary cases are robust."

He added that there is a high degree of independence within the current system through the separation between regulation and representation in the society.

Mr Murphy said "there is no direct relationship between the number of solicitors struck off in any particular calendar year with the level of misconduct in that year" and no particular significance should be attached to the small variations in the number of solicitors struck off.

The report also shows the number of complaints against solicitors last year was down 62pc from 1,039 complaints to 390. This is attributed to a number of factors, including new regulations.

However, the volume of disciplinary cases remains high, with the society making 115 applications to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2014.

Irish Independent

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