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Compensation fund

See information on the possible outcomes of your claim, and how to seek a review of your claim, below.

What are the possible decisions the Law Society will make?

We will decide to:

  • Pay the claim in full;
  • pay part of the claim;
  • refuse the claim; or
  • postpone the decision to a later meeting because more information is needed.

When we have made our decision, we will write to you. If we are going to pay only part of your claim, or if we are refusing your claim, we will tell you why.

If we are paying all or part of your claim, we will also send you a cheque.

In some circumstances, we will pay your claim in instalments. However, this is unusual. If it happens in your case, we will explain the reasons why.

Can the Law Society refuse a claim even where dishonesty has been proven?

Yes. The Law Society may refuse to pay compensation where:

  • The solicitor did not hold a practising certificate;
  • your own dishonesty or negligence of the client contributed to the loss;
  • you assisted with the misconduct of the solicitor; or
  • the loss did not arise from providing legal services.

In addition, we will not compensate you if the loss is because of something other than dishonest misappropriation of money. For example, if a loss incurred due to the negligence of the solicitor.

We will not pay damages or for other losses relating to this loss. (These are called consequential loss).

Will there be any deductions from the amount of my claim?

When we decide how much you are due, we may deduct money for other fees or outlays, such as travel expenses or outlays that you owe your previous solicitor.

We will only deduct fees for work that was properly done by your previous solicitor and that did not have to be redone by your new solicitor. If your new solicitor has to redo the work, we will pay for it.

What happens if my claim is approved?

If we approve your claim, our claims section staff or a Law Society solicitor will contact you. They will explain the procedure in your particular case. If we need to apply to court to process your claim, we will do so as soon as we can and will keep you informed of the progress.

Does my previous solicitor have to pay the money back?

No. If we pay all or part of your claim, your previous solicitor owes this amount to us. When we pay you compensation, the rights you had against the solicitor for that amount pass to us. For instance, we might decide to sue the solicitor to get back the amount the Fund has paid to you. We ask you to agree to this in the claim form.

In the claim form, you agree that we may sue the solicitor in your name, if we need to. If this happens, we will pay the legal costs of pursuing such a claim.

What if I am unhappy with the Law Society’s decision?

If you are unhappy with how we handled your claim, you can refer the claim to a person known as the Independent Adjudicator. The Independent Adjudicator makes sure that we deal with claims on the Fund fairly and impartially.

The Independent Adjudicator can look at the Law Society’s file about your claim. If the Independent Adjudicator is not satisfied with how we handled your claim, they can direct us to reopen your file and look at it again.

You must contact the Independent Adjudicator within three years of our decision, by contacting:

The Independent Adjudicator
26/27 Upper Pembroke Street
Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 662 0457

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