Legal Services Regulation Act 2015
Advertising of legal services
218. (1) No professional code shall operate to prevent—
(a) a legal practitioner from advertising his or her legal services,
(b) a legal partnership, a multi-disciplinary practice or a limited liability partnership from advertising their legal services, or
(c) a group of legal practitioners, who share a facility, premises or cost of practice, from advertising themselves as such a group.
(2) The Authority may make regulations in relation to the advertising of legal services, including in relation to the information that may be contained in advertisements published or caused to be published by legal practitioners in relation to legal services they provide and any areas of law to which those services relate.
(3) Before making regulations under subsection (2), the Authority shall consult, in such manner as it considers appropriate, with—
(a) a professional body, the members of which will be subject to the regulations when made, and
(b) such other interested parties, including legal practitioners who are not members of a body referred to in paragraph (a) who will be subject to the regulations when made, as the Authority considers appropriate.
(4) Regulations made under subsection (2) may not restrict the advertising of legal services unless such restriction is—
(a) necessary for—
(i) the protection of the independence, dignity and integrity of the legal profession, and
(ii) an overriding reason relating to the public interest,
(b) non-discriminatory and proportionate.
(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), regulations made under that subsection may—
(a) specify the category or categories of legal practitioner to whom such regulations apply,
(b) make provision in relation to advertisements that may be published or caused to be published by or on behalf of a legal practitioner, including provision in respect of their content and size,
(c) provide for the manner in which the Authority is to determine whether any particular advertisement published or caused to be published by a legal practitioner is in contravention of this section or any regulations under this section, and
(d) restrict the publication by or on behalf of a legal practitioner of any advertisement which in the opinion of the Authority—
(i) is likely to bring the legal profession into disrepute,
(ii) is in bad taste,
(iii) reflects unfavourably on other legal practitioners,
(iv) is false or misleading in any material respect,
(v) is published in an inappropriate location,
(vi) subject to subsection (7), expressly or impliedly solicits, encourages or offers any inducement to any person or group or class of persons to make claims for personal injuries or seek legal services in connection with such claims.
(6) A legal practitioner shall not publish or cause to be published an advertisement which does not comply with regulations made under subsection (2).
(7) Nothing in subsection (5)(d)(vi) shall be taken to authorise the Authority to impose a restriction on the inclusion in an advertisement published by or on behalf of a legal practitioner of the words “personal injuries” as part of the legal services provided by the legal practitioner.
(8) In this section—
“advertisement” means any communication (whether oral or in written or other visual form and whether produced by electronic or other means) which is intended to publicise or otherwise promote a legal practitioner in relation to the provision by him or her of legal services, including any—
(a) brochure, notice, circular, leaflet, poster, placard, photograph, illustration, emblem, display, stationery, directory entry, article or statement for general publication,
(b) electronic address or any information provided by the legal practitioner that is accessible electronically,
(c) audio or video recording, or
(d) presentation, lecture, seminar or interview,
which is so intended but excluding a communication which is primarily intended to give information on the law;
“inappropriate location” means a hospital, clinic, doctor’s surgery, funeral home, cemetery, crematorium or other physical location of a similar character.
Power pursuant to section exercised (18.12.2020) by Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Advertising) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 644 of 2020), in effect as per reg. 1(b).