Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

60.

Authority to facilitate resolution of complaints made under this Part relating to inadequate services

60.  (1) Where the Authority determines under section 57 that a complaint to which section 51(1)(a) applies is admissible, or where a complaint is remitted to it under section 62 , it shall invite the client and the legal practitioner concerned to make efforts to resolve the matter the subject of the complaint in an informal manner.

(2) Where the client and the legal practitioner agree to the Authority’s invitation under subsection (1), and request the Authority to do so, the Authority shall facilitate the resolution of the matter—

(a) by offering its assistance in resolving the matter in an informal manner, or

(b) by identifying to the legal practitioner and the client other persons who are willing to assist in resolving the matter in an informal manner.

(3) Where the Authority, having allowed the client and the legal practitioner a reasonable period to resolve the matter the subject of the complaint in an informal manner, considers that an agreement or resolution between the parties in relation to the complaint is unlikely to be reached in that manner, it may give notice in writing to the client and the legal practitioner (and, where appropriate, any other person involved in attempting to resolve the dispute) that it proposes to determine the complaint in accordance with this section.

(4) Where subsection (3) applies, the Authority shall not determine the complaint concerned earlier than 30 days after the giving of notice under that subsection.

(5) Where—

(a) the client or the legal practitioner does not accept the Authority’s invitation under subsection (1),

(b) the client or the legal practitioner, having attempted to resolve the matter in an informal manner, confirms to the Authority that he or she does not wish to continue to make such an attempt, or

(c) the Authority decides under subsection (3) to exercise its power to determine the complaint under this section,

the Authority shall thereafter invite the client and the legal practitioner to furnish to it, within such reasonable period as is specified by the Authority, a statement setting out their respective positions in relation to the matter the subject of the complaint.

(6) The Authority shall consider any statement furnished to it pursuant to subsection (5) and, where it considers that the legal services provided by the legal practitioner were of an inadequate standard, and that it is, having regard to all the circumstances concerned, appropriate to do so, the Authority may direct the legal practitioner to do one or more of the following:

(a) secure the rectification, at his or her own expense or at the expense of his or her firm, of any error, omission or other deficiency arising in connection with the legal services concerned;

(b) take, at his or her own expense or at the expense of his or her firm (which shall not exceed €3,000), such other action as the Authority may specify;

(c) transfer any documents relating to the subject matter of the complaint to another legal practitioner nominated by the client, subject to such terms and conditions as the Authority may consider appropriate having regard to the existence of any right to possession or retention of any of the documents concerned vested in the legal practitioner to whom the direction is issued;

(d) pay to the client a sum not exceeding €3,000 as compensation for any financial or other loss suffered by the client in consequence of the legal services provided by the legal practitioner to the client being of an inadequate standard.

(7) Where the client or the legal practitioner is aggrieved by a direction made by the Authority under subsection (6) or its failure to make such a direction, he or she may by notice in writing given not more than 30 days after the Authority has notified the parties to the complaint of its decision under subsection (6), seek a review by a Review Committee established under section 62 of the direction or the failure.

(8) Any payment made by a legal practitioner pursuant to a direction referred to in subsection (6)(d) shall be without prejudice to any legal right of the client.