Desmond Hudson, Law Society's
and his 'Large Pockets'
Row erupts over Law Society
boss's £400,000 pay
leader of Britain's 120,000 solicitors is at the centre of a salary
row after it emerged that his paypacket has leapt to almost £400,000,
almost three times the Prime Minister's earnings.
Desmond Hudson, the chief executive of the Law Society of England
and Wales, has seen his basic salary increase over the past two years
by more than 40 per cent, at a time when legal aid for family lawyers
is to be removed and many high street solicitors' firms are battling
to stay afloat.
Law Society staff responded angrily to publication of the details
of his pay packet in The Lawyer magazine. 'This is a disgrace, shameful,"
said one commentor, claiming to be a Law Society staffer on the legal
sector online forum of The Lawyer. "The staff have had no pay
rise in many years as we have been told we have to tighten our belts...
How can he look his staff in the face?" Another said: "I
don't know how Des Hudson has the gall to stand up in front of his
staff after this shameful display of greed."
The 185-year-old organisation has a chequered past and even in recent
years its Chancery Lane, London, headquarters has witnessed bitter
rivalries and power struggles between senior staff.
At the beginning of the decade the society was plunged into crisis
when its first
female vice-president was acused of bullying, leading to
a £1m employment tribunal. There
have also been allegations of profligacy surrounding the grace and
favour central London apartment and wine cellar once enjoyed by the
president of the society. In recent years it has enjoyed a period
of relative stability, which some have credited to its well-paid chief
executive. A spokesman for the society said that it was "undergoing
a staff pay review for 2011" and all employees had been "invited
to express their views".