Legal Services Regulatory Authority to be fully-functioning by Autumn



Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Ireland’s new Legal Services Regulatory Authority will be fully-functioning by the end of Summer 2017, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said.

The new Authority held its first meeting at the end of October 2016 to begin a phased roll-out of its new regulatory functions.

Speaking in the Dáil, Ms Fitzgerald said the Authority’s remaining functions, and remaining provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, would be phased in over “the first half of this year”.

She added: “The current focus includes the phased commencement of respective sections or Parts of the 2015 Act such as those dealing with the introduction of a more transparent legal cost regime, the establishment of a Roll of Practising Barristers and the separate introduction under the Act of Pre-Action Protocols.

“It also includes the transition of the Office of the Taxing-Master to that of the new Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator which is a substantial structural reform of an office of the High Court and for which I have also introduced and commenced additional supporting measures under the Courts Bill which was enacted on 28 December 2016.

“Following these steps the key provisions centred around Part 6 of the Act dealing with the new public complaints and professional conduct and disciplinary procedures, and the appointment of the new Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, will be commenced.

“These are tasks for which I know the new Authority, with the direct engagement of its interim Chief Executive, is actively building up its working resources in the short term. My Department and the new Regulatory Authority will, therefore, continue to liaise closely to ensure that we can successfully coordinate the commencement, from my side as Minister, and delivery, by the Authority as the new independent statutory regulator, of the various provisions concerned.”