Terms and Conditions of Business
When you give us instructions, we assume that you are giving us permission to take various actions on your behalf. This may involve:
- making a loan repayment for you
- holding ‘sensitive data’
- employing experts such as doctors, barristers etc
- obtaining information from third parties
- using information technology, to guarantee the best quality and most efficient service.
Without specific instructions from you we will not be obliged to provide/accept liability for, advice beyond the specific scope of these instructions given. We will not advise you beyond the scope of your instructions without specific instruction from you.
It is important that you give us instructions when we need them. If you fail to do this, we cannot make progress on your case. This may adversely affect the outcome of your case. In some scenarios it may no longer be possible for us to act for you.
You are our client and we will only take instruction from you and only represent your interests. We owe you a formal duty of confidentiality, which we will scrupulously observe.
You can contact us by letter, email or phone. We are open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 1 pm and 2 pm until 5:30 pm. We will try to respond to phone calls in the same working day, if possible, and if not, by the following day. We aim to reply to correspondence within 3 working days.
Please note that my firm’s policy is not to accept important instructions by telephone or email and instructions must be confirmed by letter.
Appointments to see us can be made through office secretary.
Standard of Service
This firm’s policy is to review files regularly, in order to ensure that the matter progresses efficiently. Where other parties are involved, we cannot control how they will deal with the mater. We will do all in our power to look after your interest and to ensure your case progresses.
The problem will be reported to Dermot, who is the Complaints Partner.
Client Identity Checks
My firm is required by law to obtain evidence of identification and proof of address for security purposes, even if you are known personally to us or have had dealings with us in the past.
- one form of photo identification (i.e. passport or driving license)
- evidence of your present address ( a current utility bill can be used for this purpose once it is less than 3 months old)
Please bring the originals to the office and we will take photocopies for our files. We do not keep the original documents.
Limitation of Liability under S.44 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008
Section 44 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 2008 allows solicitor to limit their liability. Our liability (and that of our present and former partners and employees) to you arising out of, or in connection with, our engagement (whether for breach of contract or of statutory duty, negligence, or otherwise) will be limited to €1,500,000.
For the purposes of carrying out your instructions, you authorise Oliver P. Morahan & Son to take such actions on your behalf as we consider advisable and authorise us to grant such undertakings as are necessary to bring the matter the subject of your instructions, to a conclusion and in that regard, you undertake not to terminate your instructions to us until you have successfully secured the release of Oliver P. Morahan & Son from all undertakings granted on foot of this Authority and Retainer.
At any stage during the course of this transaction, either you or this firm may terminate this contract of retainer by giving fourteen days notice in writing, except as noted above in relation to undertakings. If you wish to terminate this contract all outstanding fees and disbursements must be paid within 30 days of invoice. We will retain your file until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid. If we do not receive any further instructions from you we will retain your file in storage until the shred date of your file. This shred date is determined by Law Society Regulations.
We retain the right to terminate this contract if certain events arise:
- a conflict of interest arises
- .you fail to give instructions
- you fail to pay fees/disbursements within 30 days of invoice
- the client/solicitor relationship has irretrievably broken down
- criminal or fraudulent activity is suspected.
We will write to you explaining that we are terminating this contract of retainer within fourteen days of any of the above events occurring. If we do not receive instructions from you where we have represented you in a litigation transaction we may be obliged to come off court record. There will be a charge for this process and this will form part of your final bill.
Costs/Section 68 Requirements
Our charges are generally calculated by reference a number of factors including the time spent on the matter, the seniority of the individual handling the claim, the nature of the work, the level of legal charge would also depend on;
- The complexity of the matter;
- The urgency of the matter;
- The difficulty or the novelty of the questions raised;
- The scale, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved;
- The number and importance of the documents prepared or examined;
- The amount or value of any transaction involved;
- The importance of the matter to you;
- The time reasonably spent by the solicitor and this firm on the above matters;
- The place and the circumstance in which the above matter is pursued.
In addition to the professional fee charged by us, there will be items of outlay which will have to be discharged by you in the event that additional services are required, for example, barristers’ fees, witnesses’ expenses, engineers’ expenses etc. You will be billed for certain outlays, which we require you to pay as they accrue.
Please also note that 21% VAT on the professional fee is charged and is your responsibility.
Costs regarding Litigious Matters
Please be aware that in contentious matters there is always a possibility that in certain circumstances (where you lose the case, agree to accept an amount less than your full claim, or the court fails to award your costs or a portion of them or the court awards costs against you), you will be liable to pay in addition to your own costs, the costs of the defendant or others.
Furthermore, in some circumstances, even if you win your case, you may still be liable to meet our costs if our charges will not be fully discharged by the amount, if any, of the costs recovered from any other party or parties (or any insurers of such party or parties).
We shall send you a bill of costs, at the conclusion of any such contentious business or as soon as practicable thereafter. This bill of costs will detail the legal services we have provided, the total amount of damages if any recovered and the details of any party and party costs recovered, if any.
Please note that in contentious matters we are prohibited from:-
- calculating any part of our charges to you as a percentage or portion of the damages or other monies payable to you; and
- deducting our charges from any damages or other monies payable to you unless there is a written agreement providing for this and certain other specified conditions are fulfilled.
In the event that this matter should proceed to Court for determination, please note the following:-
If and when we successfully prosecute your claim, the amount of costs which the defendant may agree or may be directed by the Court to pay will not generally cover our entire charges as the amount charged depends on the factors outlined above. However, we will advise you prior to completion of the case of the likely amount of such additional costs.
You should bear in mind that in the event of: –
- Your losing the case, or
- Your compromising the case, or
- The Court failing to award you your costs or a portion of them, or
- The Court’s awarding the costs against you, or
- Your being unable to recover costs due to financial status of the other party
You may be liable to pay the other party or parties costs as well as your own.]
You will be responsible for the payment of proper and reasonable legal charges to include all reasonable outlay incurred in the furtherance of your case. Legal fees shall be discharged from the proceeds of any settlement cheque coming into the hands of you solicitor prior to its release to you. In the case of a conveyancing/mortgage related transaction, such fees shall be deducted from the mortgage, loan cheque.
Fees will be payable whether or not a case or transaction is successfully concluded. Where any given case or transaction does not conclude or does not come to a successful conclusion for any reason, Oliver P. Morahan & Son shall be entitled to charge on the basis of work done up to date of conclusion or termination.
If you are unhappy with your solicitor’s bill you have a number of options:
You may contact us seeking clarification of any matter and if agreement is not reached you can make a complaint to the Complaints Section of the Law Society or have your bill taxed by a court official known as a Taxing Master. An information leaflet published by the Taxing Master’s office is available on request.