Legal Services Regulation Act 2015


Number 65 of 2015




Preliminary and General


1. Short title, commencement and collective citation

2. Interpretation and construction

3. Regulations and orders

4. Expenses

5. Repeals

6. Review of Act


Legal Services Regulatory Authority

7. Establishment day

8. Establishment of Legal Services Regulatory Authority

9. Membership of Authority and terms of membership

10. Term of appointment of members of Authority

11. Disqualification for office of member of Authority

12. Removal of member of Authority

13. Functions of Authority

14. Meetings and business

15. Membership of either House of the Oireachtas, European Parliament, etc.

16. Committees of Authority

17. Power to appoint consultants and advisers and to enter into contracts

18. Legal privilege

19. Non-disclosure of confidential information

20. Strategic plans

21. Reports to Minister

22. Powers of Authority in relation to codes of practice

23. Powers of Authority in relation to professional codes

24. Chief executive

25. Staff of Authority

26. Transfer of staff of Law Society or Bar Council

27. Superannuation

28. Accounts and audit

29. Accountability of chief executive to Oireachtas Committee established to examine, etc., appropriation accounts etc.

30. Accountability of chief executive to Oireachtas Committees

31. Power to charge and recover fees

32. Advances by Minister to Authority

33. Annual report on admission policies of legal professions

34. Reports on specified matters to Minister

35. Order to prohibit contravention of Act

36. Prosecution of offences


Inspections - Legal Practitioners

37. Inspectors

38. Inspection on direction of Authority

39. Powers of Inspectors

40. High Court order to exercise certain powers under section 39

41. High Court direction to comply with inspection

42. Offences

43. Report to Authority in certain circumstances following inspection

44. Admissibility of evidence obtained in course of inspection


Holding of Clients’ Moneys by Legal Practitioners

45. Legal practitioners authorised to hold moneys of clients


Matters relating to protection of Clients of Legal Practitioners

46. Legal practitioners to have professional indemnity insurance

47. Regulations regarding professional indemnity insurance

48. Limitation of legal practitioner’s liability by contract


Complaints and Disciplinary Hearings in respect of Legal Practitioners

49. Construction (Part 6)

50. Misconduct by legal practitioners

51. Complaints under Part 6

52. Referral of complaints by Bar Council, Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Law Society

53. Limitation period

54. Withdrawal of complaint under Part

55. Regulations regarding complaints

56. Fees in respect of complaints

57. Preliminary review of complaints

58. Admissibility of complaints

59. Authority may request Law Society to investigate matter relevant to complaint

60. Authority to facilitate resolution of complaints made under this Part relating to inadequate services

61. Authority to facilitate resolution of complaints made under this Part relating to excessive costs

62. Review Committee

63. Appeal to High Court from determination of Review Committee

64. Authority to offer assistance in resolving matter in dispute where it appears that conduct could constitute misconduct

65. Resolution of complaint by mediation or informal means — additional provisions

66. Agreement by legal practitioner to participate in resolution of matter under section 60, 61 or 64 not to be treated as admission of liability

67. Guidelines for resolution of complaints by mediation or informal means

68. Authority to refer complaints relating to misconduct to Complaints Committee

69. Establishment and membership of Complaints Committee

70. Investigation of complaints

71. Power of Divisional Committee to specify measures

72. Appeal of determination of Divisional Committee

73. Publication of reports by Authority relating to its functions under this Part

74. Establishment of Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

75. Membership of Disciplinary Tribunal

76. Chairperson of Disciplinary Tribunal

77. Applications to Disciplinary Tribunal

78. Presentation of case to Disciplinary Tribunal

79. Regulations relating to Disciplinary Tribunal

80. Powers of Disciplinary Tribunal as to taking of evidence, etc.

81. Inquiry by Disciplinary Tribunal

82. Sanctions following finding of misconduct by Disciplinary Tribunal

83. Persons who may appeal determination of Disciplinary Tribunal and matters in respect of which appeal may be brought

84. Appeals to High Court from Disciplinary Tribunal

85. Consideration of matter by High Court where referred by Disciplinary Tribunal

86. Exercise of jurisdiction of High Court under sections 84 and 85

87. Appeals to Court of Appeal

88. Orders made by High Court or determinations made by Authority

89. Privilege (Part 6)

90. Enforcement of order of Disciplinary Tribunal under this Part

91. Transitional provisions in relation to solicitors

92. Transitional provisions in relation to barristers

93. Authority may appoint monitor for purposes of section 14C of Act of 1994

94. Power of Authority under Part 6


Imposition of levy on Professional Bodies and certain Barristers to cover expenses of Authority and Disciplinary Tribunal

95. Levy to be paid by Law Society, Bar Council and certain barristers

96. Failure to pay amount specified in levy assessment notice

97. Exemption for legal practitioner in full time service of the State

98. Regulations relating to levy


Legal Partnerships, Direct Professional Access, Multi-disciplinary Practices and Limited Liability Partnerships

Chapter 1


99. Interpretation (Part 8)

Chapter 2

Legal Partnerships, Direct Professional Access and Multi-Disciplinary Practices

100. Legal partnerships and professional codes

101. Professional code not to prevent direct professional access to barrister

102. Multi-disciplinary practices and professional codes

103. Complaints under Part 6 in respect of legal practitioners in limited partnerships, multi-disciplinary practices and limited liability partnerships

104. Notification of Authority of commencement, cessation of provision of legal services by a legal partnership

105. Legal partnership to have professional indemnity insurance

106. Notification of Authority of commencement, cessation of provision of legal services by multi-disciplinary practice

107. Partners in multi-disciplinary practice

108. Managing legal practitioner

109. Obligations of legal practitioners in multi-disciplinary practice

110. Operation of multi-disciplinary practice

111. Letter of engagement

112. Multi-disciplinary practice to have professional indemnity insurance

113. Saver for Compensation Fund under section 21 of Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960

114. Power of Authority to specify measures

115. Application to High Court for order suspending or ceasing provision of legal services by multi-disciplinary practice

116. Regulations on operation of legal partnerships and multi-disciplinary practices

117. Authority to maintain register of legal partnerships and multi-disciplinary practices

118. Public consultation on operation etc., of legal partnerships

119. Report on operation etc., of multi-disciplinary practices

120. Public consultation on certain issues relating to barristers

121. Review of operation of this Part

Chapter 3

Limited Liability Partnerships

122. Limited liability partnership and professional codes

123. Liability of partner in a limited liability partnership

124. Property of partnership

125. Application for limited liability partnership

126. Authority to maintain register of limited liability partnerships

127. Power of Authority to issue direction for failure to comply with statutory requirements

128. Application to High Court for order in respect of failure to comply with direction under section 127

129. Ceasing to operate as a limited liability partnership

130. Regulations on operation of limited liability partnerships

131. Disapplication of section 3 of Registration of Business Names Act 1963

132. Amendment of section 27 of Companies Act 2014


Obligations of Practising Barristers

133. Roll of practising barristers

134. Entry of name on roll

135. Variation of entry on roll

136. Prohibition on unqualified person providing legal services as practising barrister

137. Prohibition on pretending to be qualified barrister


Legal Costs

Chapter 1


138. Interpretation (Part 10)

Chapter 2

Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator

139. Office

140. Register of determinations

141. County registrars

142. Guidelines on performance of functions of Chief Legal Costs Adjudicator under this Part

143. Review of scales of fees

144. Strategic plan

145. Business plan

146. Chief Legal Costs Adjudicator to submit annual report

147. Amendment of Court Officers Act 1926

148. Amendment of Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961

Chapter 3

Legal practitioners’ duties in relation to legal costs

149. Prohibitions on charging costs in certain circumstances

150. Legal practitioner to provide notice of conduct of matter, costs, etc.

151. Agreement regarding legal costs, etc.

152. Legal practitioner to provide bill of costs

153. Legal practitioner to attempt to resolve dispute

Chapter 4

Adjudication of legal costs

154. Application for adjudication of legal costs

155. Matters to be ascertained in course of adjudication of costs

156. Powers of Legal Costs Adjudicator

157. Determination of applications

158. Effect of determination

159. Reference to High Court

160. Consideration by Legal Costs Adjudicator of determination

161. Review of determination of Legal Costs Adjudicator

Chapter 5


162. Privilege in respect of adjudications

163. Power to specify forms

164. Transitional — Taxing-Masters

165. Transitional — matters in course and legal proceedings

166. Information, documents, records, etc.

167. References


Legal Costs in Civil Proceedings

168. Power to award legal costs

169. Costs to follow event


Patents of Precedence

170. Definitions (Part 12)

171. Power to grant, and to revoke grant of, Patent

172. Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence

173. Criteria for grant of Patent

174. Application for recommendation

175. Revocation of grant of Patent

176. Solicitor granted Patent while barrister


Amendments of Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011

177. Amendment of section 3 of Act of 1954

178. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 1954

179. Amendment of section 47 of Act of 1954

180. Amendment of section 48 of Act of 1954

181. Amendment of section 49 of Act of 1954

182. Amendment of section 66 of Act of 1954

183. Amendment of section 71 of Act of 1954

184. Amendment of section 3 of Act of 1960

185. Solicitor shall not have connection, accept instructions, from certain persons

186. Amendment of section 7 of Act of 1960

187. Amendment of section 9 of Act of 1960

188. Amendment of section 10 of Act of 1960

189. Amendment of section 14 of Act of 1960

190. Amendment of section 17 of Act of 1960

191. Amendment of section 24 of Act of 1960

192. Amendment of section 31 of Act of 1960

193. Amendment of section 2 of Act of 1994

194. Amendment of section 8 of Act of 1994

195. Amendment of section 9 of Act of 1994

196. Amendment of section 10 of Act of 1994

197. Amendment of section 14 of Act of 1994

198. Amendment of section 14A of Act of 1994

199. Monitor appointed by Authority may attend committee meetings

200. Amendment of section 22 of Act of 1994

201. Amendment of section 26 of Act of 1994

202. Amendment of section 35 of Act of 1994

203. Amendment of section 38 of Act of 1994

204. Amendment of section 58 of Act of 1994

205. Amendment of section 59 of Act of 1994

206. Amendment of section 1 of Act of 2002

207. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 2002

208. Amendment of section 19 of Act of 2002



209. Immunity

210. No indemnification of Compensation Fund

211. Amendment of Courts Act 1971

212. Barrister in employment may provide legal services to his or her employer

213. Amendment of Courts and Court Officers Act 1995

214. Amendment of Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010

215. Restriction on withdrawal of legal practitioner from case where client in custody

216. Service of notices

217. Regulations on movement between professions of barrister and solicitor

218. Advertising of legal services


Clinical Negligence Actions

219. Clinical negligence actions

220. Other amendments of Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004

221. Amendments of Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991


Principles relating to Legal Costs


Enactments Repealed

Acts Referred to

Arbitration Act 2010 (No. 1)

Bankruptcy Act 1988 (No. 27)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (No. 31)

Civil Registration Act 2004 (No. 3)

Companies Act 1990 (No. 33)

Companies Act 2014 (No. 38)

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 (No. 8)

Court Officers Act 1926 (No. 27)

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 (No. 39)

Courts Act 1971 (No. 36)

Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (No. 31)

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (No. 6)

Criminal Justice (Search Warrants) Act 2012 (No. 33)

Criminal Law Act 1997 (No. 14)

Criminal Procedure Act 1967 (No. 12)

Debtors (Ireland) Act 1840 (Vict., c. 105)

Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (No. 20)

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 (No. 22)

Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001

European Parliament Elections Act 1997 (No. 2)

Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (No. 27)

Land And Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (No. 27)

Legal Services Ombudsman Act 2009 (No. 8)

Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37)

Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (No. 25)

Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 (No. 41)

Offences Against the State Act 1939 (No. 13)

Partnership Act 1890 (Vict., c. 39)

Pharmacy Act 2007 (No. 20)

Planning and Development Act 2000 (No. 30)

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (No. 33)

Registration of Business Names Act 1963 (No. 30)

Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 (No. 16)

Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960 (No. 37)

Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994 (No. 27)

Solicitors (Amendment) Act 2002 (No. 19)

Solicitors (Ireland) Act 1849 (13 Vict., c. 53)

Solicitors Act 1954 (No. 36)

Solicitors Acts 1954 to 1994

Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 (No. 18)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (No. 39)


Number 65 of 2015


An Act to provide for the regulation of the provision of legal services, to provide for the establishment of the legal services regulatory authority, to provide for the establishment of the legal practitioners disciplinary tribunal to make determinations as to misconduct by legal practitioners, to provide for new structures in which legal practitioners may provide services together or with others, to provide for the establishment of a roll of practising barristers, to provide for reform of the law relating to the charging of costs by legal practitioners and the system of the assessment of costs relating to the provision of legal services, to provide for the manner of appointment of persons to be Senior Counsel, to provide for matters relating to clinical negligence actions, and to provide for related matters.

[30 th December, 2015]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows: