See information on the process of making a claim below.
How do I claim compensation from the Fund?
You may have already received a form, but if not, you can download it below:
How soon must I make a claim?
You must submit your claim to our Fund within 12 months of the date you first become aware that your money is missing. For example, if you find out your money is missing on 1 October 2018, you must make your claim before 1 October 2019.
If there are exceptional circumstances, you can apply to us to extend this time.
Your money may be taken long before you find out about it. We treat the date you find out about the loss as the date the loss happened. This applies even if you do not know exactly how much you have lost.
If you do not know the total amount of your loss when you apply for compensation, you still need to write the date you found out about the loss on your application. When you do find out all the details of the loss, you can give us the details.
If you make a claim more than 12 months after you find out about your loss and we believe there is no good reason to extend the deadline, we will not accept your claim even if it is otherwise valid.
Do I have to use a solicitor to make a claim?
No, we are happy to receive forms directly from you.
Do I need evidence to support my claim?
Yes. Along with your application form, please send us the following information:
- The amounts that were paid by the solicitor; or
- the amounts paid by others to your solicitor that should have been paid to you,
- relevant documents and an explanation for each individual document.
The requirements are the same whether you are making a claim on the Compensation Fund or a claim for a refund of money under the control of the courts or the Law Society. The type of evidence we need includes:
- Receipts given to you by your solicitor;
- relevant bank statements from you;
- copies of any cheques you paid to the solicitor – usually you can get these from your bank;
- copies of any bills the solicitor may have sent you for payment – if you cannot get these, we will need details of the fee you agreed with the solicitor for the work; and
- details of any other matters the solicitor was dealing with for you.
If you do not have any supporting documents, you must fully explain the facts of the case in the claim form. If we need additional information, we will write back to you shortly after we receive your claim form.
Do I have to confirm what I say is true?
Yes. When you have completed your form, you must formally swear that its contents are true. To do this, you must bring the form to a practising solicitor or Commissioners for Oaths. (A Commissioner for Oaths is a person who has been specially appointed by the courts to be available for people who want to swear oaths in front of them.) Any solicitor will be able to help you.
The solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths will ask you to affirm that what you have said in the form is true. By doing this, you are confirming that the documentation is true and accurate as far as you are aware. Then you will have to sign the form in front of the solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. You will be charged a set fee for each signature on the form. The fee is about €12. If the solicitor or commissioner does not know you, you should bring your passport or national identity card.
If a person swears something that they know to be untrue, it can be perjury (lying to a court). If you commit perjury, you may be prosecuted. If you are convicted, a court may fine you, imprison you or both.
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Who are other interested parties? How do I reply to this question?
Other interested parties are people or organisations who are entitled to some or all of the money that is missing. Write the name of any person or organisation you feel is entitled to this money.
I know that my money is missing, but I do not know how my solicitor was dishonest. Will this be a problem?
Our application form asks you what you know about your solicitor’s dishonesty. Answer this question. You may have no knowledge of the dishonesty. If this is the case, say so. Even if this is the case, we may know that there has been dishonesty. If this is the case, you will have enough evidence to make a claim.
Where should I send the application form?
Send your application form to the address on the front cover. We will then check your form. We will contact you if we need more information to process the claim.
How long will it take to deal with the claim?
Normally, we deal with a claim within three months of getting it. It may take longer if:
- You don’t fill in your application correctly;
- you don’t include all the relevant supporting documentation; or
- the circumstances of the case are complex.
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