New obligations on solicitors to provide written notice of legal costs will shortly come into effect.
The Law Society has said that new legal costs arrangements under sections 149-161 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 are expected to come into force by October 2019.
These provisions will replace solicitors’ obligations under section 68 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994.
The change will put greater responsibilities on solicitors and barristers to make and keep clients aware of their legal costs by providing written notices.
The legal profession will also see the introduction of new obligations regarding bills of costs and procedures for the resolution of disputes, as well as periods of suspension of services after a notice has been issued to a client.
In preparation, the Law Society’s LSRA Legal Costs Working Group has drafted a guide and precedents.
The Law Society has advised practitioners to make themselves aware of the impending changes.
The working group comprises: Keith Walsh (chair), Therese Clarke, John Elliot, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Stuart Gilhooly, Paul Keane, Fergal Mawe, Ken Murphy, Michael Quinlan and Colette Reid.