Legal services regulator upholds woman’s complaint against solicitor demanding €246 for keeping mother’s will – The Irish Times

A lawyer charged a woman €246 to keep her deceased’s mother’s will after she asked her to turn it over because she wanted another lawyer to administer the estate, according to the latest report from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority.

The woman’s complaint was among about 600 received against lawyers by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) in the six months ended March 3 last year, according to its latest report published Thursday. In all, lawyers were ordered by the LSRA to pay a total of €43,000 to complainants.

The report notes that the unnamed lawyer returned the €246 retention fee after the LSRA upheld the woman’s complaint of alleged misconduct.

No sanction was imposed but a warning was given to the lawyer who had tried to justify the charge by slashing the original €80 fee for making the will in anticipation that the firm would administer the estate. The lawyer said this was explained to the deceased, although there was no evidence to support the claim.

The authority stated that the delivery of the will “under no circumstances” could be made dependent on the payment of a retention fee. People are not required to hire the law firm that made a will to administer the estate, and wills’ fees should be set out in writing and approved by the testators, it said.

In another case study, a lawyer was ordered to pay a complainant €3,000 for inadequate legal advice on a proposed property purchase. The complainant said they abandoned the purchase after 16 months because, among other reasons, the lawyer failed to fully investigate the difficulties with the land title.

The majority of complaints to the regulator, 576, were against lawyers, reflecting their greater number and greater contact with clients, with 19 complaints against lawyers.

Almost half, 291, of the completed complaints were deemed inadmissible, while 226 were either resolved or decided by the LSRA, while the remainder were withdrawn or shelved.

Of the 595 complaints, 374 (63 percent) concerned alleged misconduct; 195 (33 percent) concerned legal services of an inadequate standard and 26 (4 percent) concerned allegedly excessive costs or fees. The LSRA received 1,509 phone calls/emails requesting information and/or complaint forms.

Of 130 LSRA findings, 35 related to cost/service complaints and 95 to complaints of alleged misconduct. 13 complaints of alleged misconduct have been referred for further investigation to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (LPDT), which is separate from the LSRA. These included complaints of non-accounting of funds and the deduction of funds from a customer’s premium to pay service providers that were not paid.

Ninety-six complaints were resolved with the assistance of the LSRA, most before a decision was made as to whether the complaint was admissible.

LSRA Managing Director Dr. Brian Doherty welcomed resolving complaints as early as possible, saying it could lead to “practical, reasonable outcomes for both parties” and reduce costs.

He pointed to a small “but growing” number of cases where the LSRA made decisions on grievances but failed to comply with its statutory instructions to lawyers. The LSRA, he warned, will seek Supreme Court orders to enforce their orders and seek orders to recover any costs incurred. Legal services regulator upholds woman’s complaint against solicitor demanding €246 for keeping mother’s will – The Irish Times

Dais Johnston

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button