Court Rules of Ireland

Order 53D: Professional disciplinary proceedings concerning Legal Practitioners (Legal Services Regulation Act 2015)

ORDER 53D

PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS CONCERNING LEGAL PRACTITIONERS (LEGAL SERVICES REGULATION ACT 2015)

I. Application and Definitions

1.(1) This Order applies to proceedings relating to the conduct of a legal practitioner under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. Orders 53B and 53C apply to proceedings under the Solicitors Acts relating to the conduct of a solicitor or of a trainee solicitor.

(2) In this Order:

“Act of 2015” means the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 [No 65 of 2015];

“Authority” means the Legal Services Regulatory Authority;

“Bar Council” means the General Council of the Bar of Ireland;

“Court” means the High Court;

“Law Society” means the Law Society of Ireland;

“legal practitioner” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Act of 2015;

“Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal” means the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal established by section 74 of the Act of 2015;

“President” means the President of the High Court, provided that where the jurisdiction in question under section 84, section 85, section 115 or, as the case may be, section 128 of the Act of 2015 is for the time being directed by the President of the High Court in accordance with section 86, section 115(5) or, as the case may be, section 128(6) of the Act of 2015, to be exercised by an ordinary judge of the High Court assigned in that behalf by the President of the High Court, a reference to the President shall be construed as a reference to such judge;

“Registrar of Solicitors” means the registrar of solicitors or his or her deputy appointed under section 8 of the Act of 1954;

“respondent legal practitioner” means a legal practitioner:

(i) who is the subject matter of a recommendation to the Court by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal pursuant to section 82(2) of the Act of 2015, or

(ii) who has appealed to the Court under section 83(2)(a) or section 83(3) of the Act of 2015, or

(iii) in respect of whom there is an appeal or application by the Authority or the Law Society under section 83(1) or section 83(2)(b) of the Act of 2015;

“Tribunal Registrar” means the person appointed by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal from time to time to act as registrar to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, or the person for the time being performing such functions in relation to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in accordance with any regulations made by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

(3) Other words and phrases in this Order shall, where applicable, have the meanings assigned to them in the Act of 2015.

[SI 196/21]

2.(1) Service of any document upon the Authority under this Order may be effected by serving it on the Secretary to the Authority or by sending it by prepaid registered post addressed to the Secretary to the Authority at the Authority’s principal office.

(2) Service of any document upon the Law Society under this Order may be effected by serving it on the Registrar of Solicitors or by sending it by prepaid registered post addressed to the said Registrar: “The Registrar of Solicitors, Law Society of Ireland, George’s Court, George’s Lane, Dublin 7, D07 E98Y”.

(3) Service of any document upon the Bar Council under this Order may be effected by serving it on the Honorary Secretary of the Bar Council or by sending it by prepaid registered post addressed to the said Honorary Secretary.

(4) Service of any document upon the Honorable Society of King’s Inns under this Order may be effected by serving it on the Registrar of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns or by sending it by prepaid registered post addressed to the said Registrar.

(5) Service of any document upon any other person under this Order may be effected in the manner provided in section 216 of the Act of 2015.

[SI 196/21]

3. An attested copy of every order made by the Court under the Act of 2015 shall, insofar as any such order relates to the functions of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal under the Act of 2015, (as soon as practicable after receipt thereof by the Authority):

(a) where the Authority is party to the proceedings before the Court, be provided by the Authority to the Tribunal Registrar;

(b) in any other case, be provided by the Court registrar to the Tribunal Registrar.

[SI 196/21]

II. Recommendation of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal under section 82(2) of the Act of 2015

4. Every recommendation of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal under section 82(2) of the Act of 2015 shall be delivered by the Tribunal Registrar to the Central Office by post or by hand addressed to the President within 21 days of the making of such recommendation. The recommendation shall include or have appended the determination of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal under section 81(8) of the Act of 2015. A copy of the recommendation shall at the same time be furnished:

(i) to the Authority;

(ii) to the Law Society, where the respondent legal practitioner is a solicitor;

(iii) to the Bar Council and to the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, where the respondent legal practitioner is a barrister;

(iv) to the respondent legal practitioner, and

(v) if applicable, to the complainant.

[SI 196/21]

5.(1) Upon delivering a recommendation in accordance with rule 4, the Tribunal Registrar shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, issue a notice of motion seeking such order under section 85(7) of the Act of 2015 as may be deemed appropriate and reasonable having regard to the determination and the recommendations of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal as to the sanction which in their opinion should be imposed. The motion shall be supported by an affidavit averring to the relevant facts or alleged facts and exhibiting true copies of all documents delivered to and produced before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

(2) The motion shall be served on each party who participated in the Inquiry of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

[SI 196/21]

III. Appeals to the Court under section 83(2) or 83(3) of the Act of 2015

6.(1) Where the respondent legal practitioner appeals to the Court under section 83(2)(a) or section 83(3) of the Act of 2015 against a determination of misconduct on his or her part, the President shall make directions for the conduct of the proceedings in accordance with section 85(1) of the Act of 2015, which may include a direction that the appeal shall proceed as a full rehearing of the evidence laid before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, or a direction for a less than full rehearing.

(2) Where an appeal mentioned in sub-rule (1) proceeds, any motion for relief under section 85(7) of the Act of 2015 shall not be determined until the determination of such appeal, and thereafter shall be determined having regard to the outcome of such appeal.

(3) Upon the hearing of an appeal under section 83(2)(a) or section 83(3) of the Act of 2015 or, as the case may be, a motion for relief under section 85(7) of the Act of 2015, the President may require that any notice, affidavit, or other document not then before the Court that was delivered to and produced in evidence before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal or a transcript or other record of any oral evidence given before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal be made available by Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal to the Court in such manner as the President may direct.

(4) Subject as provided in sub-rule (1), the President may, in accordance with section 85(5) of the Act of 2015, remit the matter to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal to take further evidence for submission to the Court and to make a supplementary report thereon to the Court.

(5) An attested copy of every order made by the President under this rule shall be served by or on behalf of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal on each party who participated in the Inquiry of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

[SI 196/21]

7.(1) Every appeal to the Court brought under section 83 of the Act of 2015, shall be by originating notice of motion, returnable to the President and shall be entitled in the matter of the respondent legal practitioner and in the matter of the Act of 2015.

(2) The motion shall be supported by an affidavit sworn by or on behalf of the appellant averring to the relevant facts or alleged facts and exhibiting true copies of all documents produced before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal by or on behalf of the appellant.

(3) The notice of motion shall state the determination of, or (as the case may be) sanction imposed by, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of which the appeal is brought, the grounds of the appeal and the order sought by the appellant on such appeal.

(4) The appeal shall be issued by or on behalf of the appellant by filing a copy of the notice of motion, together with any affidavit intended to be used in support thereof, in the Central Office, within the time prescribed by section 83(5) of the Act of 2015.

(5) A copy of the notice of motion shall be served (together with copies of every supporting affidavit and exhibits thereto) on each party who participated in the Inquiry of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

(6) The appellant shall lodge an indexed book of papers in the Central Office not later than seven days before the return date of the motion of appeal.

(7) The appeal may be responded to by affidavit sworn by or on behalf of any party opposing the appeal.

(8) On the return date of the motion, the President may give such directions as to the hearing of the appeal as he thinks just and convenient.

(9) An attested copy of every order made by the President under section 84 of the Act of 2015 shall be served by or on behalf of the appellant on the Tribunal Registrar and on each party who participated in the Inquiry of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, unless the Court dispenses with the need for such service.

[SI 196/21]

IV. Appeals or applications to the High Court under other provisions of the Act of 2015

8.(1) This rule shall apply to any appeal or application to the Court by any person entitled and having legal standing under the Act of 2015 to do so, under the following provisions of the Act of 2015 and regulations made thereunder:

(i) section 12(7) of the Act of 2015 Appeal [Removal of a member of the Authority];

(ii) section 19(5) of the Act of 2015 [Application for determination of a matter relating to confidential information];

(iii) section 22(6) of the Act of 2015 [Application to revoke or vary a code of practice];

(iv) section 23(4) of the Act of 2015 [Application for an order directing a professional body to comply with a notice under section 23(1)];

(v) section 23(5) of the Act of 2015 [Application by a professional body for an order revoking or varying a notice under section 23(1)];

(vi) section 30(4) of the Act of 2015 [Application for determination of a question of whether a matter is one in respect of which the Authority Chief Executive is or is not required to account to an Oireachtas Committee];

(vii) section 35(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application by Authority to prohibit a contravention of the 2015 Act or Regulations made thereunder];

(viii) section 41(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application for an order directing a person to comply with a requirement of an inspector];

(ix) section 61(9) of the Act of 2015 [Application by a legal practitioner for an order in respect of a direction not to proceed on a bill of costs without the Authority’s consent];

(x) section 63(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application for an order directing the Review Committee to rescind or vary a determination];

(xi) section 72(1) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal by legal practitioner against determination and/or direction of Divisional Committee];

(xii) section 72(2) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal by Authority against determination and/or direction of Divisional Committee or failure to apply under section 71(7)];

(xiii) section 80(6) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal against order of Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal to pay witness expenses];

(xiv) section 83(1) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal by Authority against determination of Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal that an act or omission does not constitute misconduct];

(xv) section 90(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application for enforcement of order of Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal];

(xvi) section 92(2) of the Act of 2015 [Application by Authority for sanction of person previously disbarred];

(xvii) section 107(5) of the Act of 2015 [Application for permission to participate in multi-disciplinary practice];

(xviii) section 114(5) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal against Authority’s notice to multi-disciplinary practice];

(xix) section 115(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application for order suspending or ceasing provision of legal services by multi-disciplinary practice];

(xx) section 127(4) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal of Authority direction for failure to comply with statutory requirements];

(xxi) section 128(1) of the Act of 2015 [Application for order in respect of failure to comply with direction under section 127];

(xxii) section 175(9) of the Act of 2015 [Appeal against revocation of grant of Patent].

(2) Every application to the High Court under the provisions of the Act of 2015 set out in sub-rule (1), shall be brought and conducted in accordance with Order 84B.

(3) Every appeal to the High Court under the provisions of the Act of 2015 set out in sub-rule (1), shall be brought and conducted in accordance with Order 84C.

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9. An application to the Court by an inspector under section 40 of the Act of 2015 for an order authorising that inspector, accompanied by such other inspectors or members of the Garda Síochána as may be necessary, to exercise his or her powers under paragraphs (d), (f) or (g) of section 39(1) of the Act of 2015 shall be made ex parte grounded on an information on oath and in writing of the inspector.

[SI 196/21]