Proposals to reform the governing Council of the Law Society by introducing 12-year term limits and a changed constituency system that aims to make the body more representative are to go before solicitor members of the organisation.
The decision to put the issues to a poll came at the Law Society’s annual general meeting – held remotely for the first time because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Among the council constituency changes is a reduction in geographical council seats from 61 to 46.
Law Society president David Greene said: 'By this proposal the number of geographical seats will be reduced while increasing seats for others including in-house lawyers, junior lawyers and women. The changes to constituencies continue to recognise the importance of geographical representation while also seeking to make the Council more representative of the modern profession.'
The changes were backed by the council itself and by the AGM. However, over 20 attendees requested a member-wide electronic poll and, in line with AGM rules, the Law Society will now get that vote under way.
Meanwhile the AGM also backed term limits of 12 years. Some 20% of council has currently served more than 12 years.
This too will be put to the wider membership. If passed, council members who have served more than 12 years will be unable to seek re-election at the conclusion of their current terms.
Greene added: 'In line with the democratic decision of the AGM we will now move quickly to enable members to vote on this important issue.'