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Legal Services Regulation Act

Dear Members and Colleagues

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority has just issued its Report on Legal Partnerships to the Minister for Justice and the report is available to view CLICK HERE 

 

The DSBA was one of 8 Respondents to the Legal Service Regulatory Authority consultation process and I am very pleased that our recommendations, particularly with regard to the need for further public consultation by the Authority on its conclusions as to the regulation, operation and management of legal partnerships, form part of the final recommendations to the Minister.  

 

I am also pleased to report on the hugely positive engagement we have had with the Authority and its commitment to us for ongoing meetings on the roll-out of the legislation. This will provide a very good forum to enable us to raise issues of concern to the Authority on behalf of you, our members. The DSBA is uniquely positioned to represent your interests, having no regulatory role. As ever, I welcome hearing from you at any time so that issues you have may be brought forward to the LSRA on your behalf. I want to thank all the members of the DSBA Legal Services Regulation Act Task Force and in particular my Vice-President Robert Ryan and former President of the DSBA Keith Walsh for their work on the DSBA submissions.  

The DSBA submissions in full are available to view here

In summary, the recommendations to the Minister contained in the Section 118 Report are:

The Authority accepts the statutory commitment to the introduction of legal partnerships and is resolved to provide for their implementation. The Authority is however concerned about the risks attaching to the premature introduction of legal partnerships. The Authority wishes to ensure that all appropriate intervening steps are taken which will lead to a robust framework within which legal partnerships will deliver:

Genuinely new model of practice which will have an influence on the market in which legal services are delivered
Significant take up by legal practitioners
The minimum possible risk for users of legal services (particularly in the area of protecting client’s moneys)

The Authority therefore requires the time to develop both an appropriate strategy around their introduction and also the resources to support that strategy.
Against that background the Authority commits to continuing with an intensive period of review and further consultation in respect of the detailed regulations for legal partnerships and will continue to report to the Minister. In this regard the Authority commits to next reporting in respect of the issue of legal partnerships no later than the 31st July 2017.

 

Best wishes

Áine Hynes

President

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