Legal Services Regulation Act 2015


Amendment of Courts Act 1971

211.    The Courts Act 1971 is amended by substituting the following for section 17:

“Right of audience of solicitors

17. (1) Notwithstanding any other enactment or rule of law and subject to subsections (2) and (3), a solicitor who is acting for a party in an action, suit, matter or criminal proceedings in any court and a solicitor qualified to practise in the State (within the meaning of the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011) who is acting as his or her assistant shall have a right of audience in that court.

(2) Subsection (1) shall apply notwithstanding that a solicitor referred to in that subsection has instructed a practising barrister in the action, suit, matter or criminal proceedings concerned.

(3) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), in the circumstances referred to in subsection (2), it shall be a matter for agreement between the solicitor and the barrister concerned, with the consent of the party referred to in subsection (1), as to whether the right of audience shall, having due regard to the best interests of the party, be—

(i) exercised by the solicitor or the barrister, or

(ii) partly exercised by the solicitor and partly exercised by the barrister.

(b) Where the solicitor and the barrister referred to in paragraph (a) fail to reach agreement, the party shall determine the legal practitioner who is to take the lead role and the manner in which the right of audience shall be exercised on his or her behalf by the legal practitioners concerned.”.