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Compensation fund

See information on the type of loss that can be claimed below.

Who can make a claim on the Fund?

You can make a claim on the Fund if you were the client of a solicitor and you have lost money that you gave them because they were dishonest.

You can also make a claim if you were the client of a solicitor and you have lost money that was:

  • Received by the solicitor on your behalf; and
  • to be passed on to you or to others.

You can also submit a claim if your money is now under the control of the courts or the Law Society.

Can I claim missing money?

Yes. You can claim for money paid to the solicitor that is now missing because of the solicitor’s dishonesty.

Can I claim back money paid to the solicitor on my behalf?

Yes. You can claim for money that:

  • The solicitor received on your behalf;
  • was to be passed on to you or to others; and
  • is now missing because of the solicitor’s dishonesty.

My money is not missing, but I have been told that it is now under the control of the courts or the Law Society. How can I get it back?

Fill in the claim form if you want to:

  • Claim from the Law Society Compensation Fund;
  • be paid back money that is now in the control of the courts or the Law Society; or
  • claim back money from both.

If you need to apply to have your money released from the control of the courts, we will handle this for you free of charge.

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Can I claim back stamp duty?             

Yes. You can claim back stamp duty if:

  • You were buying a property;
  • you gave your solicitor money to stamp and register your deeds;
  • your deeds have not been stamped or registered; and
  • the money is missing.

You can make your claim for stamp duty before or after you actually pay the stamp duty to the Revenue Commissioners.

Can I claim from the Fund if my solicitor was negligent?

No. If you have lost money because of your solicitor but not because of dishonesty, you may wish to consult a new solicitor about taking an action against your previous solicitor. An example of this is if your previous solicitor was negligent.

If I have to pay a new solicitor to finish the work, who will pay my new solicitor’s fees?

You can claim legal fees from us for your new solicitor if you:

  • Are claiming for missing money;
  • have already paid your previous solicitor to do the work; and
  • now have to go to a new solicitor to get them to finish the work for you.

For example, if you have a conveyancing transaction that your new solicitor must finish and they have to do the typical work, we will pay them the current guideline fee. If they have to do less than the usual work, we will pay them a smaller fee.

Does the fund cover legal fees I may have to pay to make my claim?

No. The Fund does not cover any legal fees you may have to pay for preparing and submitting a claim on the Compensation Fund.

What is the maximum claim on the fund?

The maximum claim is €700,000 for each client.

My claim has been paid, but I have lost more money than I first realised. Can I make another claim?

Yes. You can claim for further losses that are discovered after you submit your claim or we pay it. If these losses relate to the same solicitor, you do not need to submit a new claim form. You should just send us the details of the loss.

Will the Fund pay for work that my previous solicitor started but has not finished?

We consider each case individually. We will consider the benefit of your previous solicitor’s work and whether your new solicitor is able to use that work. Then we will pay a reasonable part of your new solicitor’s fee.

We will not pay a full fee if your new solicitor is able to use the work that your previous solicitor did.

Will the Fund pay conveyancing fees?

Most claims to the Fund relate to buying a property. If you were a purchaser, and your new solicitor has had to finalise the transaction for you, we will usually pay up to €750 plus VAT. We will also pay expenses that you have already paid for. The work involved typically includes the following, although there are other tasks that may also be done:

  • Taking up the file from the Law Society;
  • reviewing the file and title documents;
  • paying the stamp duty;
  • arranging mapping;
  • paying local authority charges;
  • registering the title, including any mortgage; and
  • dealing with queries from the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds.

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