The criteria for allocating functional constituency seats in the first legislature must be open and convincing, the president of the Law Society, Christopher Chan Cheuk, said yesterday. Mr Chan said: 'The foremost principle is to look after the interests of the most indispensable and important bodies and trades.' Trades and professions, ranging from Chinese medical practitioners to property agents, are seeking one of the nine new functional constituency seats introduced by Governor Chris Patten, and which Beijing will reallocate for the 1998 poll. Mr Chan, commenting in his personal capacity, said it was important the seats were divided fairly. 'The focus is how the functional constituencies' seats can ensure that the public's views are reflected and that the interests of people's livelihood in each major aspect are looked after,' he said. A fair allocation of seats would help to ensure the credibility of bills passed by the legislature. Mr Chan said the post-handover administration should widely solicit and consult the public's views. 'Otherwise, it would be impossible to automatically dispel the inner conflicts arising from an uneven distribution of power,' he warned.