Law Society Update June 2018

You are long overdue your Council update, as I note that in preparing this one, you haven’t had one from me since January.  But there are good reasons for this.  There was no meeting in February, the March meeting was cancelled because of the Beast from the East, I was in the US at a conference on the date of the April meeting and, unfortunately, I missed that one and then there was no meeting in May.

So, I am now attending the June meeting on your behalf

While I wasn’t able to attend the April meeting, I am able to report on what I have gleaned from the reported minutes.  Which are here. By the way, I trust you are aware that there is a report of each Council meeting in the Gazette (I do trust that you read it from cover to cover and are well aware of this already, of course!)

As always, these updates are subject to the fact that the business of Council is governed by confidentiality, and therefore, restricted to matters falling properly in the public domain generally. And the general caveat applies that these are ephemeral updates that I’m compiling quickly. Therefore, I’m writing and posting this pretty much as it comes out in first draft without detailed proofreading. I offer it as a quick contemporary note of my impressions, it’s not intended to be refined legal writing or my considered opinion on these issues, so please take it or leave it as such. All opinions expressed are my own personal views.


GDPR wasn’t something on the April agenda in particular but it was discussed and there has been a lot going on in the Society on this, so I thought I would mention it here first.

To start, I trust you will have received the email from the President with the links to the GDPR guidance and templates provided by the Society.  They are here in case you missed them.

There was a practice note on GDPR in the April Gazette, which you can find here.

There was also an article on GDPR in the January Gazette, which you can find here.

Of course, in addition to the GDPR itself, which came into force on 25 May, we also have a new domestic Data Protection Act, 2018 which was passed and commenced on 25 May.  The act includes very important provisions for solicitors.  It’s here.

A big issue for solicitors in GDPR is the transfer of data between solicitors and counsel.  I understand that a protocol on this issue is currently being agreed between the Law Society and the Bar Council and I trust that this will be made available to us all as soon as it has been concluded.  I am advised that the time frame on this is as soon as possible!

Legal Services Regulation Act, 2015 Update

The LRSA now has a website.  It’s here.

It has also published its strategic plan.  Which is here.

What strikes me as most noteworthy from the strategic plan is that it includes a goal “To introduce the enabling framework for Limited Liability Partnerships as a business model for the delivery of legal services in the state” by Quarter 3 2018.  Q3 2018 starts next month.  This has to be welcome and we will wait to see what materialises.

On a quick scan of the plan, I don’t see any mention of commencement of that part of the Act dealing with legal costs.  I do, however, see mention of the plan to introduce a levy by Quarter 2 2019, i.e. this time next year.

As I wasn’t personally present at the meeting in April, I think that the best thing that I can do is refer you to the report of that meeting in this month’s Gazette, which you can find here.

Well, that’s it for me for now.  Our next meeting is in July and I’ll be in touch with you in advance of that.

Meanwhile, I hope you’re enjoying the spell of fine weather!