Terms of Engagement
1. Our firm’s professional commitment:
We shall pursue your instructions in relation to a Conveyance, Probate, Litigation Claim, Commercial transaction, Will or other task on your behalf in as efficient and thorough a manner as possible, with full regard at all times to our professional obligations as solicitors and members of The Incorporated Law Society of Ireland.
To do so we will need to take such action and honour such undertakings as we may deem necessary and reasonable in order to process your business. You authorise our firm to do so and you agree not to terminate our instructions to act for you until the matter has concluded or until you have satisfied the conditions referred to in Clause 11 of this Agreement should you wish to terminate our instructions.
2. Discussing your expectations:
We will discuss your expectations with you and tell you whether we think they are realistic. It is important to us that you understand at all times what is happening in your file. To help prevent any confusion or stress on your part, we will give you general information and explain any procedures regarding your business as it progresses.
3. Instructing your solicitor:
It is important that you give us clear and accurate instructions from the very beginning and when you get any new information as the business in hand develops. We will endeavor to carry out the agreed instructions and to give you a confidential and friendly service.
When we receive your instructions, we will explain your legal options to you. If there is anything you do not understand please tell us right away so that we may answer your questions. We will then agree with you the actions to be taken.
4. Updating your instructions:
You may need to update your instructions from time to time, for example, if:
- New issues or information arise;
- Events take an unexpected turn;
- We need more information from you; or
- Fees or expenses have not been paid.
It is important that you give us instructions when they are needed. If you fail to do this, we cannot make progress. This may affect the outcome and, in some cases, may mean we have no choice but to stop acting for you.
5. Acting on your behalf:
While acting on your behalf, you hereby irrevocably instruct and authorise us to engage in the following activities on your behalf:
- Making a repayment to a bank or building society for you;
- Holding information for our records, including ‘sensitive data’, such as your Personal Public Service (PPS) number or medical reports and records or divorce papers etc;
- Making a claim for personal injuries under the terms of the Injuries Board (formerly known as Personal Injuries Assessment Board - PIAB); and in that connection to provide to the Injuries Board our office as the address for service of any Notice or document or payment that is required to be served on you or given or issued to you in connection with your claim;
- Employing barristers and other experts, such as doctors and engineers, on your behalf;
- Obtaining information from third parties to help us with your transaction, without seeking your permission in advance;
- Using information technology (IT), including email, to guarantee the best quality and most efficient service;
- Sending copies of your personal documentation such as Medical Reports and Records, Bank Statements, Tax Returns etc., to third parties involved in your business;
- Obtaining such Doctors and Hospital Reports and any other experts Reports for the processing of a claim on your behalf;
- Entering into correspondence with any person or persons which we deem necessary in connection with the business being conducted on your behalf;
- To advise you as to the adequacy or otherwise of any assessment of damages made by the Injuries Board on the assumption that the person (or persons) against whom you are claiming is or are fully liable to you and communicate to the Injuries Board your acceptance or rejection of any such assessment of damages;
- In the event that your claim is not concluded within the Injuries Board process or that it is necessary to proceed against a non Injuries Board participating respondent, issue such Court Proceedings on your behalf against the person (or persons) considered by us to be wholly or partly responsible for the injuries and damage suffered by you.
- In engaging us to act on your behalf in connection with a litigation or personal injury claim, you hereby authorize us to hold and exercise a lien over any compensation cheque issued in your name until such a time as your liability for legal costs and outlay is discharged in full.
- In circumstance where we are conducting more than one transaction on your behalf you hereby consent to the transfer of client account funds held in respect of one such transaction to the ledger in respect of one or more transactions being conducted on your behalf where such inter client account ledger transfer of funds is necessary to discharge liabilities on your behalf to this Firm or to third parties;
- If you instruct us to repay money on your behalf, you cannot change OR withdraw these instructions later if we have given a professional promise (undertaking) to others to do so.
- We will hold any money we receive on your behalf strictly in line with the Solicitors’ Accounts Regulations.
- We will only use any personal or ‘sensitive’ information in your interests.
- We will only employ experts who we believe will help you with the progress of your business or presentation of your claim. We will select professionals who we believe to be competent, but we are not responsible for the negligence of anyone we employ on your behalf.
Please note that we do not claim to have any expertise outside that of a qualified Solicitor. For example we are not competent to advise you on medical issues to do with your recuperation and you should rely on your Medical experts to give you this advice. If you are self employed, we are not competent to advise you in relation to your claim for loss of earnings and you should be advised by your Accountant about this aspect of your claim.
6. Barristers and other professionals:
We may need to instruct and retain as may be reasonable or appropriate the services of barristers (whether senior or junior counsel) and may need to retain other professional persons (including doctors, engineers, accountants, photographers and actuaries etc). Of course, we will notify you in writing of their names as soon as practicable after we have retained them. If you wish to retain a particular professional please advise without delay.
7. Timescale of your litigation case:
We shall estimate how long your case is likely to continue, including, as your case proceeds, what stage we have reached and what and when the next steps will be. This will save you having to inquire about your case. If any event occurs that will delay your case, we shall let you know and give you our best estimate of a new timescale.
Please note that time limits may apply in the following two situations, so please make sure that we have all the correct information in good time to take any necessary actions:
- Litigation cases – certain actions must be taken by you or by us within a particular period or else your case will fail by virtue of being Statute Barred.
- Actions under the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 – if you are making a claim under this act, you must write a letter outlining the details of your claim within two months of the date of the accident. Failing to do this may have a bad impact on your case and may also lead the court to award you only part, or none, of your costs.
8. Legal requirements:
Under anti-money laundering regulations, we need to be sure of your identity and source of assets before we can take on your case.
- Identity – you will need to give us evidence of your identity, such as your driving licence or passport, even if we already know you. We will also need you to give us a document showing your permanent address, for example an ESB or telephone bill or a bank statement.
- Source of assets – any funds or property that you ask our firm to deal with must have been legally obtained. If we become aware or suspect that these assets come from an illegal source, we must notify the Gardaí and the Revenue Commissioners without telling you, except in limited circumstances. We will immediately stop acting for you if we have to report illegal assets.
Even when we are not obliged to report to the authorities, we cannot transfer any assets or property funded by the proceeds of crime. This includes funds that have not been declared for tax purposes or that have been obtained by false means. In this situation, you would have to legalise your position before we could act on your behalf.
For more information, see the enclosed copy of the Law Society leaflet Money Laundering: Your Solicitor and You.
9. Obtaining your file after conclusion:
Once you pay for our services, and provided that we have done everything we promised to do, you may retrieve your original file. We are entitled to copy this file to comply with solicitors’ regulations. Usually we keep a client’s file for at least six years and then destroy it. However, we never destroy deeds and wills.
If you need your file or information from the file, we can send this to you. We will charge you a fee for this service, based on the current rates at the time of your request.
10. Making a complaint:
Good communication between us will guarantee the best possible outcome. If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of our service, however, please send it in writing to us and we will review your file without delay. We will then send you a written reply to any requests for information, advising you of any actions that we will be taking in relation to your case.
11. Transferring to another solicitor:
You may terminate our instructions at any time but not until you have discharged all undertakings given by our firm on your behalf and charges (including fees, outlays and disbursements) properly and reasonably due by you. In some cases, upon receipt of satisfactory undertaking from an alternative Solicitor to discharge our fees at the conclusion of your claim, we shall release the file upon receipt of reimbursement of outlays and disbursements already incurred.
If we have agreed to seek a fee only if your case was successful (‘no foal no fee’ or ‘contingency’) then, if you change to another solicitor, this agreement automatically ends and we will require payment for the work that has actually been done. If you die during the course of the transaction, your estate will be liable to discharge any fees incurred and any contingency arrangement will cease to apply.
12. Professional insurance & Limits of our Liability:
We confirm that our firm has the appropriate level of professional insurance in place, as required by law. You might note however that in accordance with Section 26A of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994 (as inserted by Section 44 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008) we limit our liability in each case to the minimum level of professional insurance prescribed from time to time by the Law Society Regulations and we are not responsible for any consequential loss howsoever arising. The minimum level of professional insurance indemnity prevailing at the time of signing of this Agreement will be advised to you upon request. If you require us to carry additional insurance for your case, please let us know and we will be pleased to make the appropriate arrangements.
13. Affidavit of Verification:
In litigation cases you are required to file in Court and serve on the Defendant an Affidavit of Verification where you make a claim against another party. In this Affidavit you are required to swear on oath that the claim that you are making (as described in the documents filed in court on your behalf) is true and accurate. It is important that you understand that if any aspect of your claim is proven to be untrue or inaccurate, this may be deemed to be a Criminal Offence and the Defendant or Insurance Company acting through their Solicitors are entitled to apply to the Court to have your case struck out.
We look forward to working with you and to bringing your business to a satisfactory conclusion.
We should be obliged if you would sign and return the original coloured copy of this document as confirmation that you agree to the terms set out above. You should keep the duplicate for future reference.
If you have any further questions, please contact us.
Please refer to the following Schedules to this Agreement:
- Schedule One: ‘Explanation of Costs’;
- Schedule Two: ‘Glossary’;
- Schedule Three: ‘Section 68 Letter ;
So why not get a no obligation fixed fee quote now. You could save a lot of money. If you have questions, why not call or email us now without obligation and we will be happy to answer your queries without charge.
No solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature shall exist or be deemed to exist between O’Shea Legal and you until you have received confirmation in writing from us in which we confirm our appointment as your Solicitors.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
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Our Legal Publications
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The Executors Guide - 'At last a step by step guide, composed in plain english, for the executor or administrator who chooses not to employ a solicitor. This book contains invaluable advice and tips on how to get the difficult task of winding up an estate of a deceased person done as quickly as possible avoiding the traps for the unwary. It covers all the steps from the grave to the final distribution of the estate. It can save the estate thousands of euro in legal fees'