The Chair of the Law Society's Civil Justice Committee has accused the Law Society of spiking her chances of being elected to another position by leaking about her suspension.
Sophie Khan stood for election in May to become a member of the Civil Litigation Council. But just as the ballot boxes opened, it emerged that Law Society president Joe Egan had attempted to suspend her, months after she raised a discrimination complaint.
Emails seen by RollOnFriday revealed that after losing the election, Khan challenged the result on the basis that someone engaging in dark arts had leaked about Egangate to RollOnFriday. She told RollOnFriday, "my chances of being elected to the Council were fundamentally diminished" as a result of the story.
The Law Society appointed a three-person challenge committee to hear Khan's claims. But in contravention of Law Society bylaws, the trio of lawyers it selected was not made up of local Law Society Presidents. Khan flagged the error and the Law Society appointed a new three-person panel. However Khan objected to the new panel because it was all-white. In an email to the Law Society, she said it comprised "three white solicitors
" who "are all from local law societies which are known for their lack of ethnic minority representation
". The Law Society refused to budge. As a result, Khan, who also sits as a committee member of the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division, decided not to pursue her challenge and it was dismissed.
||The Law Society plays musical Chairs.
A Law Society spokesman said, “An election challenge was received for the Civil Litigation seat on Law Society Council. It was considered by a challenge committee and dismissed. Peter Causton has been confirmed in the seat". He added, "Whenever concerns are brought to our attention we work hard to ensure issues are handled in an appropriate way with due consideration for everyone concerned”.
He confirmed that Khan was suspended as chair of the Civil Justice Committee, a state of affairs which Khan continues to dispute. She told RollOnFriday, "That's their position. It's not my position, and it's not the committee's position". She said she may now take legal action against the Law Society.