Express or implied inducements to make a claim for damages for personal injury
Registrar of Solicitors
This notice is intended as general guidance in relation to the subject matter and does not constitute a definitive statement of law. Reference to a solicitor includes a reference to a firm of solicitors in this context.
All practising solicitors are reminded that, under the Solicitors Advertising Regulations 2019 (SI No 518 of 2002) (the regulations), an ‘advertisement’ means any communication that is intended to publicise or otherwise promote a solicitor in relation to the solicitor’s practice.
At a recent meeting of the Advertising Regulations Division of the Regulation of Practice Committee (the committee), the application of section 4(a)(vi) of the regulations was considered in the context of online legal updates and blog posts that include the settlement award for a claim for personal injury or medical negligence.
Regulation 4(a)(vi) directs that an advertisement must not expressly or impliedly solicit, encourage or offer any inducement to any person or group or class of persons to make claims for damages for personal injuries or to contact the solicitor concerned with a view to such claims being made. This restriction, originally contained in the Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations 2002, was retained under the Solicitors Advertising Regulations 2019.
The committee directed that, where a legal update or blog post either states a settlement award, or provides a link to a news article containing same, it must not also contain contact information for the firm, as to do so would be tantamount to an implied inducement to persons to make a claim for damages for personal injury.
If a solicitor is unsure as to whether an advertisement is compliant with the regulations, it can be submitted for review to the Society’s vetting service in advance of publication.
Eamonn Maguire is the Law Society’s advertising regulations executive and is contactable at tel: 01 672 4800; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registrar of Solicitors and Director of Regulation