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Civil justice review backs legal fee restrictions – report

06 Nov 2020 / justice Print

Civil justice review backs legal fee restrictions – report

A civil justice review group chaired by former High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly (pictured) has backed the introduction of guidelines restricting the fees lawyers can seek for work on legal actions, according to a report in the Irish Independent this morning (6 November).

The 500-page Administration of Civil Justice Review went to the Minister for Justice last month.

As well as legal costs, the report of the review group, which began work in September 2017, is understood to recommend reform in the areas of:

  • Judicial review,
  • Multi-party litigation, 
  • Discovery,
  • Court reform.


The Irish Independent reports that the group recommends the introduction of guidelines setting limits on what can be charged for work done at various points in a civil case.

The guidelines, however, would be “non-binding” due to concerns about EU competition law and potential unfairness in complex or drawn-out cases.

The review group comprised members from each court, the Law Society, the Bar Council and civil servants from various departments.

New discovery regime

Among its recommendations, according to the Irish Independent, are measures to streamline procedures, limit adjournments and reduce delays in bringing cases to hearing.

It is also understood to back the hiring of officials to handle procedural matters, in order to enable judges to concentrate on hearing cases.

The paper reports that the review group also recommends the introduction of a new regime for discovery, as well as a review of the criteria governing access to civil legal aid.

Review group member Stuart Gilhooly told the Law Society litigation seminar last month that the proposed measures would change the way the solicitor profession operates, but in a manageable fashion.

Gazette Desk
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