Over 100 Connaught solicitors attended a two-day legal learning and networking event in the Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar last week.
Organised by the Law Society Finuas Skillnet and the Mayo Bar Association, the annual event is an opportunity for local solicitors to stay up to date in areas of essential legal knowledge.
Solicitor Dermot Morahan of Oliver P Morahan & Son in Westport is the new president of the Mayo Bar Association.
“This event is an excellent opportunity for Mayo solicitors to gather, reflect and discuss key issues in the legal sector including family law, probate, GDPR and more,” he says.
Family law and probate
Family law aims to protect the rights of citizens when relationships break down or where children are in danger of harm.
Family law expert Ailbhe Burke of MacSweeney & Co in Galway addressed the conference and provided updates in the area.
Dermot Morahan says family law needs to be addressed with sensitivity.
“Whether it is the breakdown of a relationship or the death of a partner, dealing with family law issues can be a difficult and life-changing time.
“If you are married, in a civil partnership or a cohabiting couple, it is important for people to know what legal protections, if any, they qualify for as a family unit,” he says.
“For example, under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, some co-habiting couples have legal rights in relation to their co-habitant, including seeking maintenance or financial provision from his or her estate.”
“While family law can be highly complex, one of the best protections you can make for your family unit is simply to create a will.”
“Making a will ensures that, when you die, your property and other possessions go to the people that you choose and can save heartache down the line. If you need information on family law or creating a will, contact your local solicitor for advice.”
The two-day conference also addressed key developments in the legal landscape over the past year, including GDPR.
“The new general data protection regulations were introduced earlier this year and it is important that businesses in the Connaught region stay compliant,” says Dermot Morahan.
“By now, all local businesses and organisation should have reviewed their data protection policies. It is important that we do not become complacent with the laws.
"Data protection is a continuous responsibility, and any breaches must be reported,” says Dermot Morahan.