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    Legal profession is anti-competitive ...

    <h1>Legal profession is anti-competitive - watchdog</h1>

    Kilian Doyle

    The
    Competition Authority has proposed a number of "root-and-branch"
    reforms of the Irish legal profession that it says could lower charges
    and improve the quality of service.

    The Authority's report into
    competition in the industry criticises both the Law Society and the Bar
    Council for presiding over a profession that is "permeated with
    unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on competition".

    "Overall,
    the legal profession is in need of root-and-branch reform reflecting
    the important need to create a modern, system of regulation that is
    proportionate, accountable, transparent, flexible and reflects the need
    of consumers," the report states.

    Bill Prasifka, chairman of the Authority, said the legal market is "not working to the benefit of consumers".

    Chief
    among the 29 recommendations contained in the report is the
    establishment of an independent Legal Services Commission to regulate
    solicitors and barristers.

    It also seeks the introduction of the
    profession of conveyancing, which it says would bring down the price of
    buying a home and improve the standard of service for consumers.

    The
    report also recommends an ending of the monopoly on educating lawyers
    currently operated by the Law Society and King's Inns and allowing the
    public to consult directly with barristers.

    Barristers should
    also be allowed to form partnerships, as solicitors do. They should
    also be allowed to advertise their services.

    The Authority also
    wants solicitors whose clients want to switch to another solicitor to
    be obliged to hand over their files and wants the public to be provided
    with full disclosure of their rights and how legal fees are determined.

    It
    says many clients are not aware of their rights when it comes to legal
    fees. They are entitled to get an estimate of legal costs from their
    solicitors, and not obliged to pay a percentage of the value of a
    property as a fee. It is also illegal for a solicitor to base their
    fees on a percentage of any compensation received.

    The report
    also claims the practice of barristers charging a fee that is equal to
    two-thirds of a Senior Counsel's fee, regardless of the amount of work
    involved in a particular case, is anti-competitive.

    On the
    appointment of Senior Counsel, Mr Prasifka said the title is currently
    "conferred without any transparency whatsoever". He said a new scheme
    for awarding the position should be established and it should be made
    open to solicitors.

    The report has been forwarded to Minister for
    Justice Michael McDowell. Mr Prasifka said the Minister has
    demonstrated by his proposals for a Legal Services Ombudsman and the
    establishment of the Legal Costs Working Group that he is "someone who
    is looking for change".

    Mr Prasifka said he was therefore
    "hopeful" the recommendations would be adopted by the legal profession.
    If not, he said the Competition Authority has a number of enforcement
    powers it is "holding in reserve" that it may consider implementing. He
    did not specify what form this enforcement would take.According
    to the Competition Authority, there are 7,242 solicitors and 1,665
    barristers working in Ireland. The average salary in the legal
    profession in 2002 was €164,000

    #2
    How come there's only one Competition Authority?

    Comment


      #3


      Why the need for Barristers at all?
      It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

      Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Piquet
        How come there's only one Competition Authority?
        [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
        Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.

        Comment


          #5


          But still some of them are good for a laugh,well in America anyway. Certainly wouldn't happen here. Some of you may have seen these before.


          http://urbanlegends.about.com/librar...lla_awards.htm
          The early bird catches the worm but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Arthur Guinness


            But still some of them are good for a laugh,well in America anyway. Certainly wouldn't happen here. Some of you may have seen these before.


            http://urbanlegends.about.com/librar...lla_awards.htm


            Most of the Stella Awardcases are just exaggerated stories which never actually happened as described. The true ones usually end up with the claimant receiving nothing or the case being chucked out immediately. Some of them are still pretty funny though.


            And Joey, barristersexistence is necessarybecause solicitors have far too much pride to wear those ridiculous wigs.
            "It’s not the team you support, it’s the club you should support. The team on the pitch will ebb and flow because that’s the nature of sport. No team has ever been successful decade on decade. The club has the history and that’s the passion you should have."

            Comment


              #7
              I think in order to prolong the construction boom their vast resources should be employed in the manufacture of concrete hush puppies for the entire legal profession whereon they shall be cast to the salty brime.
              The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

              Comment


                #8
                99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name (as emailed to me this morning by a lawyer)

                Comment


                  #9


                  Originally posted by beir bua
                  99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name (as emailed to me this morning by a lawyer)

                  Unfortunate that, his surname is incriminating enogh as it is.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Originally posted by beir bua
                    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name (as emailed to me this morning by a lawyer)
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                    [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img][img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
                    \" 220 horses, i gotta gun, a siren, a tank full of city gas....DON\'T YOU LOVE IT\"

                    Comment

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