The Law Society yesterday dismissed suggestions of differences with the Legislative Council's legal profession representative, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, saying she had done a good job in protecting the interests of solicitors. Herbert Tsoi Hak-kong, the new president of the society, which represents 5,000 solicitors, dismissed rumours of a major conflict of views with Ms Ng, a barrister, on political issues. The Law Society and the Bar Association have differed on the reinterpretation of the Basic Law on the right of abode by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The society supported the reinterpretation, while the Bar objected strongly. However, Mr Tsoi said the Bar had been expressing a 'political preference' rather than a legal opinion. He said it was perfectly acceptable for Ms Ng to express barristers' viewpoints in Legco and to criticise Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie for the decision not to prosecute tycoon Sally Aw Sian in the Hong Kong Standard circulation fraud case. However, Mr Tsoi personally supported Miss Leung, who had 'looked after the interests of Hong Kong'. 'The Secretary's weakness is being too honest,' he said. 'In the past, no attorney-general would explain a case in public.' Some solicitors have suggested Ms Ng has not done enough for their interests, but Mr Tsoi disagreed. He cited her efforts to increase the jurisdiction of the District Court, to enable the transfer of 15,000 cases from the High Court. This could create 30,000 case jobs for solicitors and could actually be 'a threat to barristers'. The society's former president, Anthony Chow Wing-kin, has yet to decide whether to run against Ms Ng in September's Legco election. Asked who he would support if Mr Chow decided to stand, Mr Tsoi said: 'I would have to look at their pledges and their ability to deliver.' Mr Tsoi said that under his leadership, the society would continue to follow Mr Chow's 'apolitical' orientation and be 'middle-of-the-road' on political issues. The priority was practitioners' livelihoods. 'Politics divides,' he said.