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LSRA consultation on new legal partnerships
Dr Brian Doherty of LSRA

26 Mar 2024 / regulation Print

LSRA consultation on new legal partnerships

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) has opened a month-long consultation on the draft regulatory framework for the introduction of new legal partnerships.

The LSRA is inviting written submissions from the professional bodies for solicitors and barristers, as well as practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, on a set of three draft regulations and a separate draft code of practice for practising barristers.

A legal partnership is a partnership between two or more legal practitioners (solicitors or barristers) where at least one legal practitioner is a practising barrister.

Legal framework

The authority intends to introduce the legal framework for legal partnerships in the coming months. Legal partnerships are provided for in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, which created the LSRA, but the relevant provisions could not be commenced until the act was amended in July 2023.

The introduction of legal partnerships as a new business model will, for the first time, enable barristers, or barristers and solicitors, to form partnerships together to provide legal services. 

A legal practitioner will be able to provide legal services as a partner in, or as an employee of, a legal partnership.

The LSRA has previously carried out public consultations on the regulation, monitoring and operation of legal partnerships, and it submitted two reports to the Minister for Justice and Equality in 2017.

The current consultation on a set of draft documents is focused on the professional and representative bodies for solicitors and barristers; the Law Society, the Bar of Ireland, and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns, as well as other relevant stakeholders. These include those practising barristers who, because they are not members of the Law Library, do not have a representative body to put forward their collective views.

The LSRA’s chief executive Dr Brian Doherty said: “The current targeted consultation on the draft enabling framework for legal partnerships brings us another step closer to the introduction of this new business model in 2024. The authority is committed to creating a regulatory framework for legal partnerships that allows solicitors and barristers, or barristers and barristers, to form partnerships together and provide efficient and competitively priced legal services to their clients.

“We welcome the views and input of the professional bodies for solicitors and barristers, as well as the hundreds of barristers who are practising outside of the Law Library. The LSRA will consult with relevant stakeholders as it plans and prepares for the introduction of legal partnerships later this year.”


Legal partnerships will be able to apply for authorisation to operate as limited liability partnerships. New professional-indemnity-insurance regulations will be required for practising barristers in legal partnerships and in limited liability partnerships. 

The current consultation, therefore, seeks input on draft regulations on legal partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and professional indemnity insurance. It also invites written submissions on a draft code of practice for practising barristers, as provided for under section 22 of the act.

The purpose of the code of practice is to set and improve standards for the delivery of legal services. The LSRA has already carried out consultations with the professional bodies and other interested parties, and this led to the publication in 2019 of an earlier draft code of practice for practising barristers. 

Further information is available at: www.lsra.ie/for-innovation/our-consultations/

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