Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (ComplaintsProcedures) Regulations 2019.

 
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Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 22nd November, 2019.

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 55 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (No. 65 of 2015), hereby makes the following regulations:-

Citation

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Complaints Procedures) Regulations 2019.

Interpretation

2. (1) In these Regulations, “Act” means the Legal Services Regulations Act 2015 (No. 65 of 2015).

(2) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, other words and phrases have the meanings (if any) assigned to them by the Act. In the event of there being an apparent conflict between these Regulations and any provision(s) of the Acts, these Regulations shall be construed so as to be in conformity with the provisions(s) of the Act.

Submission of complaint

3. A complaint in respect of a legal practitioner, under section 51 of the Act, shall be submitted in writing to the Authority—

(a) by online complaint form on the Authority’s website,

(b) by email to the address specified on the Authority’s website, or

(c) by post to, or by hand at, the Authority’s principal offices.

Notification by Law Society of solicitor misconduct

4. The Law Society shall notify the Authority in writing, under section 51(5) of the Act, of its opinion that an act or omission of a solicitor constitutes misconduct in writing forthwith following the forming of such opinion.

Notification of legal practitioner

5. (1) The Authority shall notify the legal practitioner concerned of the complaint under section 57(2) of the Act, and where the legal practitioner was at the material time an employed legal practitioner the Authority shall notify the relevant employer or managing partner of the firm and provide them with a copy of the complaint.

(2) Where the legal practitioner concerned was providing legal services to a client in receipt of legal services under the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 , the Authority shall notify the Legal Aid Board of the complaint and provide them with a copy of the complaint.

Procedures in general

6. (1) The Authority, the Review Committee and the Complaints Committee shall regulate its own procedures and shall endeavour to ensure that their procedures are as informal as is consistent with the principles of fair procedures and that undue expense is not incurred by the complainant or the legal practitioner concerned.

(2) The Authority, the Review Committee and the Complaints Committee shall ensure that the investigation and hearing of complaints and reviews under Part 6 of the Act is carried out as efficiently and expeditiously as may be consistent with fairness and natural justice.

(3) A time period provided for in these Regulations may be extended or abridged by the Authority, the Review Committee or the Complaints Committee, as applicable, on written request of the relevant party, where the Authority or Committee is satisfied that the extension is appropriate and would not cause an injustice to the other parties to the complaint.

Time period for submission of further information in preliminary reviews of complaints

7. Where the Authority requests further information from the complainant or the legal practitioner under section 57(4) of the Act, such information shall be furnished within 21 days of the date of the request.

Time periods in relation to informal resolution

8. (1) The client and the legal practitioner shall respond to an invitation under section 60(1) or 61(1) of the Act from the Authority to make efforts to resolve the matter the subject of the complaint in an informal manner within 21 days of the date of the invitation.

(2) The client and the legal practitioner shall respond to an invitation under section 60(5)(c) or 61(5)(c) of the Act from the Authority to furnish to it a statement setting out their respective positions in relation to the matter the subject of the complaint within the time specified by the Authority in the invitation.

Time period for written statements in reviews of determinations of Authority

9. The client and the legal practitioner shall provide a statement in writing to the Review Committee before it makes a determination under section 62(5) of the Act within 21 days of the invitation being issued.

Creation of Divisional Committees

10. (1) In respect of complaints referred by it to the Complaints Committee under section 68 of the Act, the Authority shall assign members of the Complaints Committee to act as a Divisional Committee in relation to the investigation of complaints.

(2) In assigning particular members to a Divisional Committee, the Authority shall take into account the provisions of section 69 of the Act and the availability of the members.

(3) The Authority shall appoint one of the lay members assigned to each Divisional Committee as the Chairperson of that...

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