Registered European Lawyers Qualifying Certificate Regulations 2019.

Publication Date10 Jan 2020

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 10th January, 2020.

The Law Society of Ireland, in exercise of the powers conferred on them by the European Communities (Lawyers’ Establishment) Regulations 2003 ( S.I. No.732 of 2003 ) hereby make the following Regulations:

1. Citation and Commencement

(a) These Regulations may be cited as the Registered European Lawyers Qualifying Certificate Regulations 2019.

(b) These Regulations are intended to give effect to the Lawyers’ Establishment Directive as provided for in the 2003 Regulations.

(c) These Regulations shall come into operation on 1 January 2020.

(d) The Registered European Lawyers Qualifying Certificate Regulations are repealed with effect from 1 January 2020.

(e) These Regulations do not affect the provision of services by visiting lawyers (within the meaning of the European Communities (Freedom to Provide Services) (Lawyers) Regulations 1979 ( S.I. No. 58 of 1979 )).

2. Definitions

(a) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:

applicant registered lawyer” means a registered lawyer making an application for a qualifying certificate;

application” means the application in accordance with Regulation 8 of the 2003 Regulations delivered to the Registrar by an applicant registered lawyer for a qualifying certificate for the practice year, pursuant to Regulation 4 of these Regulations;

application fee” means the registration fee, the contribution to the Compensation Fund, the contribution for the Legal Services Regulatory Authority Levy Fund, and other fees specified by Schedule 1 of these Regulations;

Authority” means the Legal Services Regulatory Authority;

Compensation Fund” means the fund maintained by the Society pursuant to Sections 21 and 22 of the 1960 Act;

Competent Authority” means the Society;

duly completed application” means an application which has been completed by the applicant registered lawyer in accordance with the instructions set out therein, and the Guidelines, and which is accompanied by the full payment of the application fee;

EFT payment form” means the form made available by the Society to applicants who wish to pay the application fee by electronic funds transfer;

Guidelines” means guidelines in respect of qualifying certificate applications as may be published by the Society from time to time;

Law Directory” means the directory of solicitors, registered lawyers and firms published by the Society each year;

lawyer” has the meaning assigned to it in the 2003 Regulations.

Lawyers’ Establishment Directive” means Directive 98/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998.

member state” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations.

practice year” means the calendar year;

professional activities” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations;

qualifying certificate” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations;

register” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations;

registered lawyer” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations;

Registrar” means the registrar of solicitors for the time being appointed pursuant to Section 8 of the 1954 Act;

registration certificate” has the meaning assigned to it by the 2003 Regulations;

Regulation of Practice Committee” means the committee to whom functions of the Society pursuant to Part V of the 1954 Act, as amended and extended by Part VI of the 1994 Act, have been delegated by the Council of the Society;

relevant date” means 1 February each year;

relevant form” means the form of application for a qualifying certificate;

Society” means the Law Society of Ireland;

the 1954 Act” means the Solicitors Act 1954 ;

the 1960 Act” means the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960 ;

the 1994 Act” means the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994 ;

the 2015 Act” means the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 ;

2003 Regulations” means the European Communities (Lawyers’ Establishment) Regulations 2003 ( S.I. No.732 of 2003 ) as amended by the European Communities (Lawyers’ Establishment) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 ( S.I. No.752 of 2004 S.I. No.96 of 2008 and S.I. No.46 of 2015 ).

(b) Other words and phrases in these Regulations shall have the meanings assigned to them by the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015, the 2015 Act, the Lawyers’ Establishment Directive, or the 2003 Regulations where the context so permits.

(c) The Interpretation Act 2005 applies to the interpretation of these Regulations as it applies to the interpretation of an Act of the Oireachtas.

3. Requirement to hold a qualifying certificate

(a) Every registered lawyer (other than a registered lawyer defined in Section 56(3) of the 1994 Act), in the State shall be required to hold a qualifying certificate.

(b) Every registered lawyer is responsible for ensuring that he or she complies with Regulation 3(a). A claim by a registered lawyer that he or she relied on another party to apply for a qualifying certificate shall not be a defence to a failure to comply with Regulation 3(a).

(c) A qualifying certificate shall be the property of the registered lawyer, regardless of who has paid the application fee.

(d) It shall be an offence and professional misconduct on the part of a registered lawyer who fails to comply with Regulation 3(a). Where a registered lawyer fails to comply with Regulation 3(a) the Society may take any one or more of the following actions:

(i) refer the matter to the Authority;

(ii) make an application to the High Court;

(iii) report the matter to An Garda Síochána; and

(iv) any other action deemed appropriate by the Society.

4. Application for a qualifying certificate

(a) An applicant registered lawyer shall on or before the relevant date:

(i) deliver or cause to be delivered, a hard copy duly completed application to the Registrar at the Society’s premises at George’s Court, George’s Lane, Dublin 7; or

(ii) submit or cause to be submitted to the Registrar, a duly completed application in electronic form and in such format as may be amended by the Society from time to time which application shall include a relevant form duly completed in accordance with the instructions set out therein and full payment of the application fee; and

(iii) Provide confirmation of the continued registration of the registered lawyer with the competent authority in the home member state; and

(iv) Notify the Society of the registered lawyer’s home professional title.

(b) The Society may refuse to issue a qualifying certificate to a registered lawyer unless the registered lawyer has in force an indemnity against any losses arising from claims against the registered lawyer as required by Regulation 6(2)(b) of the 2003 Regulations, for the duration of the practice year.

(c) The Registrar shall, on receipt of an application pursuant to Regulation 4(a) of this Regulation and on the Registrar being of the opinion that there is or are no appropriate and reasonable ground or grounds for not doing so, cause to be issued to the registered lawyer concerned a qualifying certificate which shall be dated either –

(i) 1 January in the relevant year, where issued during the period beginning on 1 January in that year and ending on the relevant date, or

(ii) the date on which it is issued, where issued after the relevant date.

(d) Applications which are:

(i) not completed in accordance with these Regulations;

(ii) Not completed in accordance with the instructions set out therein;

(iii) not fully completed; or

(iv) submitted without full payment of the application fee;

shall be deemed incomplete and shall be returned to the applicant by the Society.

(e) Qualifying certificates shall only be issued following receipt by the Society of a duly completed application, full payment of the application fee and responses (which are deemed to be reasonably satisfactory) to any query raised thereon by the Society.

(f) Nothing herein shall prevent the Society seeking such other or further information or documentation as it considers appropriate prior to the issuance of a Qualifying Certificate including but not limited to information in relation to Continuing Professional Development where that is carried out in the home member state, or compliance with Regulation 10(3) of the 2003 Regulations.

(g) Qualifying certificates shall be dated the date on which the Society receives the duly completed application, full payment of the application fee or a response which is deemed to be reasonably satisfactory to any outstanding queries, whichever is the later, if received after the relevant date.

(h) Only one qualifying certificate shall be issued to each registered lawyer in any practice year.

(i) If a registered lawyer’s qualifying certificate is dated after the...

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