Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

2.

Interpretation and construction

2.   (1) In this Act—

“Act of 1954” means the Solicitors Act 1954;

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

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

“Act of 2002” means the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 2002;

“Authority” means the Legal Services Regulatory Authority established by section 8 ;

“Bar Council” means the General Council of the Bar of Ireland;

“chief executive”, in relation to the Authority, has the meaning assigned to it by section 24 ;

“code of practice” means a code of practice issued under section 22 , and includes part of such a code;

“committee” in relation to the Authority, means a committee of the Authority established under section 16 ;

“Compensation Fund” means the fund maintained by the Law Society under section 21 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960;

“complainant” means a person who has made a complaint in accordance with Part 6 ;

“complaint” means a complaint made under subsection (1) or (2) of section 51 ;

“Complaints Committee” means the Committee established pursuant to section 69 and includes a division of that Committee (referred to as a Divisional Committee);

“Disciplinary Tribunal” means the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal established under section 74 ;

“enactment” means a statute or an instrument under a power conferred by statute;

“establishment day” means the day appointed under section 7 ;

“inspector” means a person appointed under section 37 to be an inspector;

“Law Society” means the Law Society of Ireland;

“lay member” means a lay person who is a member of the Authority;

“lay person” shall be construed in accordance with subsection (3);

“legal advice” means any oral or written advice—

(a) on the application of the law (whether the law of the State, another state or the European Union, international law, or a combination of these) to any particular circumstances that have arisen or may arise in relation to a person, and

(b) as to any actions that might appropriately be taken by or on behalf of a person (whether the person referred to in paragraph (a) or another person) having regard to the application of the law to those circumstances,

but does not include an opinion on the application of the law provided by a person to another person in the course of—

(i) lecturing in or teaching an area of the law, as part of a course of education or training,

(ii) writing or editing a book, report or article, or

(iii) carrying out research in an area of the law, for the purpose of enhancing the other person’s knowledge of the area concerned;

“legal costs accountant” means a person who has regularly participated in the preparation and presentation of bills of costs for taxation or, as the case may be, adjudication of legal costs and has regularly attended before a Taxing-Master on the taxation or, as the case may be, a Legal Costs Adjudicator on an adjudication, of such bills of costs;

“legal partnership” means a partnership formed under the law of the State by written agreement, by two or more legal practitioners, at least one of whom is a practising barrister, for the purpose of providing legal services;

“legal practitioner”, subject to subsection (2), means a person who is a practising solicitor or a practising barrister and a reference to a solicitor includes a reference to a firm of solicitors;

“legal services” means legal services provided by a person, whether as a solicitor or as a barrister;

“limited liability partnership” has the same meaning as it has in Part 8 ;

“local authority” has the meaning assigned to it by the Local Government Act 2001;

“Minister” means the Minister for Justice and Equality;

“multi-disciplinary practice” means a partnership formed under the law of the State by written agreement, by two or more individuals, at least one of whom is a legal practitioner, for the purpose of providing legal services and services other than legal services;

“practising barrister” means a person who—

(a) is a qualified barrister, and

(b) provides, or holds himself or herself out as providing, legal services as a barrister—

(i) whether or not for a fee,

(ii) whether or not under a contract of service or a contract for services, and

(iii) whether or not, in so doing, he or she describes himself or herself as a, or otherwise uses the title of, “barrister”, “barrister-at-law” or “counsel”;

“practising solicitor” means a person who has been admitted as a solicitor, whose name is on the roll of solicitors, who provides legal services and who—

(a) is, by reason of section 56 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994, required to hold a practising certificate, or

(b) is, by reason of that section, exempted from the requirement to hold a practising certificate;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations under this Act;

“professional body” means the Bar Council, the Law Society, the Honorable Society of King’s Inns or such other body of legal practitioners as the Authority may prescribe;

“professional code” means any code of conduct, code of practice, rule, regulation, practice note, guideline or other code, including any part thereof, relating to the provision of legal services by its members—

(a) that has been adopted by or on behalf of a professional body, or

(b) to which members of a professional body, as a condition of their membership of that body, are otherwise subject;

“professional indemnity insurance” means a policy of indemnity insurance to cover claims in respect of any description of civil liability incurred in the provision of legal services by—

(a) a legal practitioner,

(b) a legal partnership, multi-disciplinary practice or limited liability partnership, or

(c) a partner, employee or agent or former partner o1f a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

“qualified barrister” means a person who—

(a) has been admitted by the Honorable Society of King’s Inns to the degree of Barrister-at-Law or has been called to the Bar of Ireland, other than where, subsequent to his or her being admitted to that degree or being so called—

(i) he or she has been admitted as a solicitor,

(ii) he or she, before the date on which Part 6 comes into operation, has been disbarred by the Benchers of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, where that disbarment remains in effect, or

(iii) his or her name has been struck off the roll of practising barristers or the roll of solicitors by the High Court, which order remains in effect,

or

(b) is a registered lawyer, having the same right of audience as a practising barrister or a solicitor qualified to practise by virtue of Regulation 10 of the European Communities (Lawyers’ Establishment) Regulations 2003 ( S.I. No. 732 of 2003);

“roll of practising barristers” means the roll of practising barristers maintained under section 133 ;

“roll of solicitors” has the meaning assigned to it by section 9 (as amended by section 65 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994) of the Solicitors Act 1954;

“Solicitors Accounts Regulations” means—

(a) the Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2001 to 2013,

(b) the Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2014 ( S.I. No. 516 of 2014), and

(c) any other regulations made by the Law Society under section 66 of the Act of 1954 or section 73 of the Act of 1994.

(2) In this Act a reference to a legal practitioner shall be construed as including references to a person who formerly practised as a solicitor or as a barrister.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person is a lay person on a particular date if, on that date, he or she—

(a) is not a practising solicitor or a practising barrister, and

(b) where he or she has previously been a practising solicitor or a practising barrister, he or she—

(i) has not been such in the period of 5 years immediately preceding that date, and

(ii) did not cease to be such as a result of a sanction imposed on him or her by a body that was authorised to require him or her to cease such practice.

(4) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a person provides legal services as a solicitor where he or she acts as a solicitor, as that term is construed under the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011, and

(b) a person provides legal services as a barrister where he or she does one or more than one of the following:

(i) in relation to proceedings before a court, tribunal or forum for arbitration, whether in the State or in another jurisdiction, or the Personal Injuries Assessment Board—

(I) represents another person before that court, tribunal, forum or Board in those proceedings,

(II) prosecutes or defends such proceedings on behalf of another person,

(III) advises another person in relation to the conduct of the proceedings,

(IV) represents and advises another person for the purposes of arriving at or giving effect to any settlement in the proceedings, or

(V) draws or drafts documents for another person in contemplation of, ancillary to or in connection with, those proceedings;

(ii) provides legal advice to another person;

(iii) draws or drafts legal documents for another person that have the purpose of securing or transferring for a person a legal right or entitlement;

(iv) represents or acts for another person in a situation where legal rights or obligations of a person are being, or are likely to be, created or such rights or obligations are, or are likely to be, in dispute.