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You & your solicitor | Legal Guides

Back to Committees

Why use a solicitor

There are many reasons why you should get legal advice from a solicitor.

  • Education and training: Solicitors are educated and trained to the highest standards through the Law Society’s Professional Practice Course, in-office training with law firms, and mandatory, life-long professional development.
  • Solicitors are held to high professional and ethical standards and are regulated by the Law Society of Ireland’s Regulation Department.
  • Your communications with your solicitor are protected by legal professional privilege.
  • Practising solicitors are must be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance, while clients also enjoy the protection of the Law Society Compensation Fund.

Solicitor-members of the Law Society can use the logo below to show that they are practising solicitors.

Law Society Member Logo

Find a solicitor

You can search for the contact details of practising solicitors and firms on our website.

What is money laundering?

'Money laundering' is a process whereby the identity of ‘dirty money’ (i.e. the ownership and control of proceeds of criminal conduct, including tax offences) is disguised or altered through apparently-legitimate transactions and processes, so that the money appears to originate from a legitimate source.

Solicitors are subject to statutory Anti-Money Laundering obligations pursuant to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts.

A useful leaflet explains why solicitors are obliged to request certain information from clients pursuant to these obligations:

By law, your solicitor must give you information about your legal charges – the money you must pay them for their services. The law that deals with this matter is section 150 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.

Information you should receive

The information you will be given will be as follows: 

  • Legal costs to date,
  • Fixed costs which will certainly be included in your final bill – e.g. Court fees, Land Registry fees,
  • Likely costs - e.g. barristers’ fees,
  • VAT to be charged,
  • The basis of how the costs are to be calculated,
  • The duty to issue a new notice once the solicitor becomes aware of factors that would likely lead to significantly greater costs,
  • The duty to inform the client of the likely costs of engaging a barrister or expert witness, if the need arises, and to be satisfied about the client’s approval for doing so,
  • A period of time during which legal services will not be provided effectively (a ‘cooling-off period’) that cannot be longer than ten working days.

Legal Charges Guide

For more information about how charges for legal services are incurred, see the Legal Services Regulatory Authority Legal Charges guide.

If you have a problem with a solicitor, there are several options open to you. Find out more about these below.

Making a complaint

The society can investigate claims of:

  • Inadequate professional services
  • Excessive fees
  • Misconduct

For more information, see complaints against solicitors.

Taking legal action

The courts established by the Constitution are usually the place where conflicts relating to negligence and breach of contract are resolved.

If a complaint involves allegations of negligence and breach of contract where the complainant is seeking compensation in excess of €3,000, or if the Complaints and Client Relations Committee considers that a civil remedy in the courts is appropriate for a complaint, the complainant will be informed and the Society is not empowered to take any further action in relation to the complaint and/or the solicitor.

Negligence Panel

The Society maintains a list of solicitors who are prepared to take negligence and breach of contract actions against colleagues. This list of solicitors is referred to as the Negligence Panel and details are provided here.

The Law Society understands that sometimes complainants, having had an unsatisfactory experience with their previous solicitor, are reluctant to become involved with legal action and/or more solicitors. However, you should not allow this reluctance to unduly influence you. 

For details of solicitors who are prepared to help with a negligence or breach of contract action, view the Negligence Panel

The Law Society Compensation Fund

In the unlikely event that your solicitor was dishonest, and you lost money that you gave them or that that they received on your behalf, you may be able to claim compensation.