Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

PART 7

Imposition of levy on Professional Bodies and certain Barristers to cover expenses of Authority and Disciplinary Tribunal

95.

Levy to be paid by Law Society, Bar Council and certain barristers

95.  (1) Subject to section 97 , the following shall, in accordance with this Part, pay to the Authority in each financial year a levy in the amount determined in accordance with this section:

(a) the Law Society;

(b) the Bar Council;

(c) each barrister who is not a member of the Law Library.

(2) At the end of each financial year, the Authority shall, with the consent of the Minister, determine for the purposes of this section—

(a) the operating costs and administrative expenses that are properly incurred in that financial year by the Authority in the performance of its functions under this Act (in this section referred to as “approved expenses of the Authority”), and

(b) the operating costs and administrative expenses incurred in that financial year by the Disciplinary Tribunal in the performance of its functions under this Act (in this section referred to as “expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal”).

(3) The approved expenses of the Authority include—

(a) the remuneration (including allowances for expenses) of the members of the Authority,

(b) the remuneration (including allowances for expenses and superannuation benefits) of inspectors and members of the staff of the Authority,

(c) any superannuation contributions paid in respect of the members of the staff of the Authority out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas,

(d) fees due to consultants and advisers appointed under section 17 ,

(e) the cost of office premises, and

(f) any costs or expenses, not referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e), incurred by the Authority in the performance of its functions under Part 6.

(4) The Authority shall determine—

(a) the proportion of the approved expenses of the Authority that was incurred by the Authority in the performance of its functions—

(i) under Part 6 , and

(ii) under this Act, other than Part 6 ,

and

(b) in relation to the approved expenses of the Authority referred to in paragraph (a)(i), the proportion of those expenses that was incurred by the Authority in the consideration and investigation of—

(i) complaints in respect of solicitors,

(ii) complaints in respect of barristers who were, at the time of the act or omission to which the complaint relates, members of the Law Library, and

(iii) complaints in respect of barristers who were, at the time of the act or omission to which the complaint relates, not members of the Law Library.

(5) The Authority, in consultation with the Disciplinary Tribunal, shall determine, in relation to the expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal, the proportion of those expenses that was incurred by the Tribunal in the consideration of applications brought before it that concerned—

(a) complaints in respect of solicitors,

(b) complaints in respect of barristers who were, at the time of the act or omission to which the complaint relates, members of the Law Library, and

(c) complaints in respect of barristers who were, at the time of the act or omission to which the complaint relates, not members of the Law Library.

(6) The amount of the levy payable in each financial year shall be the sum of—

(a) the approved expenses of the Authority, and

(b) the expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal,

in respect of the preceding financial year.

(7) The liability for payment of the amount referred to in subsection (6) shall be apportioned as follows:

(a) in the case of the proportion of the approved expenses of the Authority referred to in subsection (4)(a)(i)

(i) 10 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned pro rata between the Bar Council and the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, according to the number of barristers whose names are on the roll of practising barristers who are members of the Law Library and the number of practising barristers whose names are on that roll who are not such members, respectively,

(ii) 10 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned to the Law Society, and

(iii) the remaining 80 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned pro rata among the Law Society, the Bar Council and the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, respectively, according to the proportion, calculated under paragraph (b) of subsection (4), of those expenses that were incurred by the Authority in the consideration and investigation of complaints in respect of each category of legal practitioner referred to in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of that paragraph;

(b) the proportion of approved expenses referred to in subsection (4)(a)(ii) shall be apportioned pro rata among the Law Society, the Bar Council and the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, respectively, according to the number of practising solicitors, the number of practising barristers on the roll of practising barristers who are members of the Law Library and the number of practising barristers on that roll who are not such members;

(c) in the case of the expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal—

(i) 10 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned pro rata between the Bar Council and the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, according to the number of practising barristers whose names are on the roll of practising barristers who are members of the Law Library and the number of practising barristers whose names are on that roll who are not such members, respectively,

(ii) 10 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned to the Law Society, and

(iii) the remaining 80 per cent of that amount shall be apportioned pro rata among the Law Society, the Bar Council and the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, respectively, according to the proportion, calculated under subsection (5), of those expenses that was incurred in the consideration of applications brought before the Tribunal that concerned complaints in respect of each category of legal practitioner referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of that subsection.

(8) The Authority shall—

(a) calculate, in accordance with subsection (7), the proportion of the amount referred to in subsection (6) that is payable by—

(i) the Law Society,

(ii) the Bar Council, and

(iii) the practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library,

and

(b) apportion the amount calculated under paragraph (a)(iii) equally among all practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library.

(9) As soon as practicable after the beginning of each financial year, the Authority shall provide a notice (in this Act referred to as a “levy assessment notice”) to each of the bodies or persons referred to in subsection (1).

(10) A levy assessment notice shall specify—

(a) the approved expenses of the Authority in respect of the preceding financial year,

(b) the proportion of the approved expenses referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of subsection (4)(a),

(c) the proportion, calculated under subsection (4)(b), of the expenses referred to in subsection (4)(a)(i) that was incurred in the consideration and investigation of complaints in respect of each category of legal practitioner referred to in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (b) of subsection (4),

(d) the expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of the preceding financial year,

(e) the proportion, calculated under subsection (5), of the expenses of the Disciplinary Tribunal that was incurred in the consideration of applications brought before it concerning complaints in respect of each category of legal practitioner referred to in paragraph (a), (b) and (c) of that subsection,

(f) the amount of levy payable by the professional body or person concerned, calculated in accordance with subsection (7) and, where applicable, subsection (8)(b),

(g) the date by which the levy becomes payable, and

(h) the rate of interest payable if all or part of the amount specified under paragraph (f) is not paid by the date referred to in paragraph (g).

(11) The levy referred to in subsection (1) shall be collected and retained by the Authority to be used to meet the costs it incurs in carrying out its functions under this Act.

(12) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a reference to the number of barristers whose names are on the roll of practising barristers shall be construed as a reference to the number of barristers whose names are on that roll during the financial year to which the expenses concerned relate, less the number of such barristers to whom section 97 applies, and

(b) a reference to the number of practising solicitors is a reference to the number of solicitors holding a practising certificate in the financial year to which the expenses concerned relate, less the number of such solicitors to whom section 97 applies.

(13) In this Part—

“barrister who is not a member of the Law Library” means a barrister whose name, in the financial year to which the expenses concerned relate, is on the roll of practising barristers, where the entry concerned specifies that he or she is not a member of the Law Library, and “barrister who is a member of the Law Library” shall be construed accordingly;

“superannuation benefits” means pensions, gratuities and other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death.

(14) For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5)

(a) a barrister is not a member of the Law Library at a given time, if, at that time, his or her name is on the roll of practising barristers, where the entry concerned specifies that he or she is not a member of the Law Library, and

(b) a barrister is a member of the Law Library at a given time, if, at that time, his or her name is on the roll of practising barristers, where the entry concerned does not include the specification referred to in paragraph (a).