The Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 will supersede the Legal Services Ombudsman Act 2009. The role of the Ombudsman was to supersede my Office by overseeing the handling by the Law Society and Bar Council of complaints by clients of solicitors and barristers. The Ombudsman was not appointed and instead the Legal Services Regulation Bill proposes the following three key entities:
- a new, independent, Legal Services Regulatory Authority with responsibility for regulating the provision of legal services by both solicitors and barristers;
- an Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator to assume the role of the existing Office of the Taxing-Master which will be conferred with enhanced transparency in its functions. The legal costs regime will be brought out into the open with better public awareness and entitlement to legal costs information; and
- an independent complaints structure to deal with complaints about professional misconduct â€“ and the independent Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
The Bill is available on http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2011/5811/document2.pdf
The enactment of the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 will supersede my Office.