News

September 9th 2017 - Shane Galligan delivers paper to Meath Bar Association CPD Day  

Shane Galligan attended the Meath Solicitors Bar Association’s CPD Day on the 29th September, 2017 to discuss the general Costs of Litigation and recent developments in the Legal Costs world.  

In what was an extremely well run and greatly attended event, the Meath Solicitors were treated to some excellent s speakers (along with Shane of course!), in particuar Julie Brennan of the Institute of Legal Research and Standards (on Professional Indemnity Insurance), Shane Kelly BL (on the Occupiers Liability Act), Padraig Lyons BL (Updates on Bullying and Harrasment in Employment Law), Dermont Monahan Solicitor (Defending suspects during Garda Interview) and John O’Connell of Stephen Cooke Accountants (Solicitors Account Regulations) with the closing address by the President of the Law Society and the Director General.

July 11th 2017  - Behan & Associates sponsored Morton Mile won by Robert Domanic

Behan & Associates were delighted to continue sponsorship of the Morton Mile which is the feature event at Morton Games International Athletics.  The event took place in the Morton Stadium Santry tonight and the Morton Mile itself was won by an athlete from the United States Robert Dominac in a time of 3.55.71 in a sprint to the line finish from Australia’s Morgan McDonald.  With 12 athletes breaking the sub 4 minute barrier this was a record on Irish soil.  

Behan & Associates are delighted to continue to be involved in the sponsorship and promotion of this prestigious event which was livestreamed throughout the world and televised on Eurosport.

June 23rd 2017 - Noel Guiden presents paper at Law Society Skillnet Programme  

At the Law Society’s recent Skillnet workshop Managing Partner Noel Guiden presented a paper entitled ‘Current Trends in Taxation of Personal Injury Costs’.  

The paper focused on party and party costs in respect of personal injury matters taking the attendees through the historical position concerning Taxation of costs through to the present day and the recent judgement of the Supreme Court in Sheehan –v- Corr.  The discussion also included a useful guide to attendees on maximising recovery of costs and the possible changes envisaged on the Taxation/assessment of costs by the new regime being set up in compliance with the Legal Services Regulation Act.

June 15th 2017 – Supreme Court Judgement issues in Sheehan (an infant) –c- Corr

The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal of Cregan J. and has confirmed that the Bills of Costs prepared by Legal Cost Accountant and taxed by the Taxing Masters are fully in conformity with the existing rules of the Superior Courts.  

The issue of time is of no greater importance than the other factors specified and the time actually spent on a case should not be elevated above the relevant criteria mandated by Order 99 Rule 37 (22).  

There is no requirement in law that a solicitor or barrister keep contemporaneous records of time spent on a case.  

The Taxing Master does not have to value each of the individual items making up the General Instructions Fee.  

General economic conditions are relevant to the proper assessment of a solicitor’s instructions fee or a barrister’s Brief fee.  

Comparators are a valuable guide to the assessment of a fee.   The Supreme Court Judgement can be accessed via the following link:

 http://www.courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/0/FAA51E52A0BFD20D8025814400328BC8

May 30th, 2017 - Taxing Master’s Practice Direction on Bills being lodged for Taxation   

Lodgement of Bills.  

Bills of Costs being lodged for Taxation are to be bound and must contain the following:  

1. The Bill of Costs and Order or Orders directing Taxation.  
2.  The stamped Notice of Taxation.  
3.  Certificate of no previous Taxation.  
4.  Blank Affidavit as to tots.  
      ·         Any other documentation is to be filed separately and if so desired by the parties bound into booklet form.  
      ·         Bills not compliant with this Practice Direction  will be rejected.  

Figures on Bills:  
All deductions from Bills of Costs which have been taxed are required to be totted on a page by page basis.  A running total is  to be brought forward to the top of each relevant page and carried forward.  Calculations of the final result together with Court duty to be shown on the final page.

April 19th, 2017 - Paul Behan to take up appointment as Taxing Master on April 24th

Founding partner and former managing partner of Behan & Associates Paul M. Behan will take up the position of Taxing Master of the High Court from the first day of term.  Mr. Behan is a worthy recipient of the honour of becoming only the second Legal Costs Accountant in the history of the State to be appointed as Taxing Master.   He has a wealth of experience having been involved in the profession since the late 1970s until his retirement from practice in 2008.  He will take up the position on the 24th of April.

All in Behan & Associates extend our congratulations to him and wish him every success in his new position.

April 3rd, 2017 – Direction from the President for payment on account of costs pending Taxation

On the 28th of March Kelly P. introduced a practice direction addressing the issue of payment on account of costs pending Taxation of such costs.  This practice direction comes into effect on the 24th of April 2017, the direction gives the Court discretion to make an Order directing payment of a reasonable sum on account of an award of costs.

The President’s direction is as follows:

“In view of long delays in the Taxation of costs, attention of practitioners is drawn to the provisions of Order 99 Rule 1 B (5).

I direct that in all cases where there is no dispute as to liability for the payment of costs and in any other case which a Judge thinks appropriate, an Order may be made directing payment of a reasonable sum on account of costs within such period as may be specified by the Judge pending the Taxation of such costs.  Such Orders may be made on an undertaking being given by the solicitor for the successful party that, in the event of Taxation realising a smaller sum than that directed to be paid on account, such overpayment will be repaid.

This practice direction shall come into effect on Monday, 24th April 2017.

Dated 28th of March 2017

Peter Kelly,
President of the High Court”

February 17th, 2017 - Noel Guiden will be a speaker at upcoming D.S.B.A. Litigation Seminar

The Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Continuing Professional Development Seminar takes place on February 23rd.  The Seminar will address important recent developments in civil litigation to include recent judgements and trends from the Court of Appeal, the new Book of Quantum, fraudulent and exaggerated claims, cases arising out of low speed impacts and recent developments in the assessment of legal costs including practical tips for practitioners.

Emma Prendergast B.L. will provide an update on the impact of the new Book of Quantum and recent case law relating to fraudulent and exaggerated claims.  Eoin Sreenan B.L. will address recent judgements and trends from the Court of Appeal including recent practice directions and judicial discretion in relation to awarding costs and Noel Guiden will provide an update in relation to recent developments in the assessment and Taxation of legal costs with a particular emphasis on the soon to be introduced Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator (further details available from www.dsba.ie).

January 24th, 2017 – Update on Taxation of Costs in High Court

Last week the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told the Dail that the implementation of the remaining provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 and in particular the costs regime and the setting up of the Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator was very much to the fore.

The Minister stated that the remaining provisions will be phased in over “the first half of this year”, adding:

“The current focus includes the phased commencement of respective sections or parts of the 2015 Act such as those dealing with the introduction of a more transparent legal costs regime, the establishment of a Roll of Practising Barristers and the separate introduction under the Act of Pre-Action Protocols.

It also includes the transition of the office of the Taxing Master to that of the new office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator which is a substantial structural reform of an office of the High Court and for which I have also introduced and commenced additional supporting measures under the Courts Bill which was enacted on the 28th of December 2016”.

This indeed is a most welcomed announcement by the Minister as it is anticipated that the Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator will provide a much more transparent and user friendly Taxation/Assessment regime for costs to the benefit of clients and practitioners.  The Legal Services Regulation Act also provides for the appointment of a Chief Legal Costs Adjudicator together with Legal Costs Adjudicators (meaning, therefore, that for the first time in the history of the State there may be more than two Taxing Officers of the High Court).

The Courts Act of 2016 introduced a provision whereby the Minister may make a determination to extend the term of a Taxing Master for a further period of three years.  In addition there was a further amendment which caters for a situation arising from the vacation of office or failure of a Taxing Master to undertake duties for a new Taxing Master or an existing Taxing Master to take up such cases.

It has been confirmed in recent weeks that the term of office of the senior Taxing Master, Master Declan O’Neill, has been extended by a period of three years. It can also be confirmed that Master Rowena Mulcahy has concluded her term as Taxing Master and vacated the office of Taxing Master as of close of business on the 23rd of January 2017.

As we understand the position any cases which are currently standing in Master Mulcahy’s list will now be dealt with at this stage by Master O’Neill.

Furthermore having regard to the Ministers statement to the Dail for the phasing in of the remaining Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015 provisions over the first six months of this year hopefully in addition to extending the term of office of Master O’Neill there will be the appointment of a new Taxing Master.

January 19th, 2017: Minister for Justice says setting up of Office of Legal Costs Adjudicator will be in place by the Autumn

Ireland’s new Legal Services Regulatory Authority will be fully-functioning by the end of Summer 2017, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said. The new Authority held it`s first meeting at the end of October 2016 to begin a phased roll-out of its new regulatory functions.

Speaking in the Dáil, Ms Fitzgerald said the Authority’s remaining functions, and remaining provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, would be phased in over “the first half of this year”. She added: “The current focus includes the phased commencement of respective sections or Parts of the 2015 Act such as those dealing with the introduction of a more transparent legal cost regime, the establishment of a Roll of Practising Barristers and the separate introduction under the Act of Pre-Action Protocols.

“It also includes the transition of the Office of the Taxing-Master to that of the new Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator which is a substantial structural reform of an office of the High Court and for which I have also introduced and commenced additional supporting measures under the Courts Bill which was enacted on 28 December 2016.

“Following these steps the key provisions centred around Part 6 of the Act dealing with the new public complaints and professional conduct and disciplinary procedures, and the appointment of the new Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, will be commenced.

“These are tasks for which I know the new Authority, with the direct engagement of its interim Chief Executive, is actively building up its working resources in the short term. My Department and the new Regulatory Authority will, therefore, continue to liaise closely to ensure that we can successfully coordinate the commencement, from my side as Minister, and delivery, by the Authority as the new independent statutory regulator, of the various provisions concerned.”

October 1st, 2016 – “Benefits of Legal Costs Arbitration/Mediation “ a discussion by Shane Galligan

Shane Galligan discusses the Alternatives to Taxation - Law Society Gazette October, 2016 Edition.

What are the benefits of Legal Costs Arbitration/Mediation?

“While it is hoped that the Legal Costs Adjudicator’s Office will be established shortly, there will remain a need for alternative dispute resolution in the legal costs world”.

Link - https://www.lawsociety.ie/Documents/committees/Arbitration%20and%20Mediation/ADR-article-october-16-gazette.pdf

May 14th, 2016:  Noel Guiden delivers talk at Law Society Skillnet  

Behans & Associates Partner Noel Guiden was a speaker at the Personal Injuries Litigation Master Class on Saturday May 14th at Blackhall Place. The talk was on the subject of the Taxation/Assessment of costs of Litigation Past, Present and Future as part of the Society`s Skillnet two day programme. The talk featured sections on the current Taxation system and the proofs required in respect of the issue of solicitors Instructions fees, Counsels fees and the fees of Expert Witness.

May 6th, 2016: Noel Guiden of Behans presents best individual sportsman trophy at St. Aidan’s CBS  

Noel Guiden, the managing partner of Behan & Associates attended the annual St. Aidan’s CBS Awards Night at the school on Collins Avenue, Whitehall, Dublin on the 5th of May to presented the Behan & Associates sponsored award for the best individual sportsman.  The recipient of the Br. Donnelly Memorial Shield for best individual sportsman was Fintan Farry for the sport of judo.  Fintan has been to the forefront in St. Aidan’s in introducing the sport of judo since he came into the school and the transition year student was both surprised and delighted to be named as the best individual sportsman in St. Aidan’s to beat stiff competition from the St. Aidan’s All Ireland Cross Country winning team and the St. Aidan’s All Ireland basketball winning teams.  Congratulations Fintan from all in Behan & Associates.

April 7th: Behan & Associates Partners – speakers at Legal Services Regulation Act Seminar

Noel Guiden and Paul Conlon, partners in Behan & Associates, both delivered papers at a Legal Costs Seminar surrounding the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 at an Irish Conferences organised event at Chartered Accountants House, Dublin 2 on the 7th of April.  Noel Guiden was the Chair of the Seminar and also addressed the Seminar concerning the cost provisions contained in the Legal Services Regulation Act.  Paul Conlon was the first speaker at the Seminar and spoke on the current Taxation of costs system as currently in operation before the Taxing Masters of the Superior Courts.  The other speakers at the event were Mr. Paul McGarry S.C., Vice Chairman of the Bar Council who also spoke on issues surrounding the costs provisions contained in the Act and Claire Cashin, Litigation Solicitor of Philip Lee who spoke around the issue of alternative dispute resolution and in particular mediation and Arbitration.

The event was a very well attended affair with approximately 60 members of the legal profession being in attendance.

March 11th 2016: Calcutta Run 2016, the Legal Fundraiser, launched  

The 2016 Calcutta Run was launched at the offices of Arthur Cox on Friday the 11th of March.  The event is supported by the Institute of Legal Cost Accountants of whom the Legal Costs Accountants in Behan & Associates are members.  The launch was attended by Noel Guiden and Shane Galligan.  The Calcutta Run is the legal profession’s annual fundraiser and brings together all aspects of the legal profession including solicitors, their staff, barristers, students, Legal Costs Accountants and suppliers to the legal profession.  The Calcutta Run which this year will take place on Saturday the 21st of May provides much needed funds for two charitable organisations, GOAL and the Peter McVerry Trust.  Over the past 16 years the Calcutta Run has raised in excess of €3.2m.  The target for this year is to raise the sum of €200,000.00.  Members of the legal profession are encouraged to fundraise and to take part in the event, there will be a number of participants from Behan & Associates taking part in the event.  Further details are available on www.calcuttarun.com.

March 10th 2016: Aidan O’Connor addresses Waterford Law Society

On the 10th of March at the Viking Hotel, Waterford our partner Aidan O’Connor delivered a paper to in excess of 30 members of the Waterford Law Society.  Aidan spoke on Solicitor’s Professional Fees and Counsel’s fees which are recoverable on a party and party basis in both the Circuit Court and High Court and also on the likely effects surrounding the proposed new Adjudication procedure contained in the Legal Services Bill.  Aidan’s talk was followed by a Q & A session.  The other speaker on the day was Mr. Martin Lawler who spoke on the subject of practitioners requirements under the current anti money laundering legislation.

March 1st 2016: John Sludds addresses Practice Management Seminar 

John Sludds a Partner in Behan & Associates was a speaker at the Practice Management Seminar held jointly by the Dublin Solicitor’s Bar Association and the Law
Society of Ireland on the 1st of March 2016 at the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin.  The Seminar concerned the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.  John delivered a paper on Adjudication of Costs Process set out in the Act which was well received by the 220 delegates at the seminar.  Amongst the topics covered by John were:

       •   The new office of the Legal Costs Adjudicators
       •   Duties and obligations imposed on solicitors to their clients
       •   The Adjudication/Assessment process
       •   How proposed changes will impact on solicitors

The delegates were also addressed by the Director General of the Law Society of Ireland Mr. Ken Murphy, the Registrar of Solicitors and Director of Regulation of the Law Society of Ireland Mr. John Elliott and Mr. Keith Walsh, Solicitor and member of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Task Force on the Legal Services Regulation Act.

John Sludds to speak at Dublin Solicitor’s Bar Association/Law Society’s upcoming Practice Management Seminar.

On the 1st of March John Sludds, a partner in Behan & Associates, will speak at the Dublin Solicitor’s Bar Association/Law Society’s conference at the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane in the city of Dublin.  The title of the Seminar is ‘the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015’ and John will discuss the costs implications of the legislation.  Other speakers on the day include Mr. Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society, Mr. Keith Walsh, Solicitor and member of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Task Force on the Legal Services Regulation Act and Mr. John Elliott, Registrar of Solicitors and Director of Regulation of the Law Society of Ireland.  Further information available from maura@dsba.ie.

Behan & Associates partners to speak at Legal Costs Seminar on 7th of April 2016

Both Shane Galligan and Paul Conlon will be speakers at an upcoming Legal Costs conference which will be held on the 7th of April next at Chartered Accountants House, Dublin 2.  Shane will speak on the topic of Legal Costs provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Bill, Counsel’s fees and the fees of expert witnesses.  Other speakers include Paul McGarry S.C., Vice Chairman of the Bar Council who will address recent Judgements of the Courts dealing with costs and Clare Cashin, partner in Philip Lee Solicitors.  Clare amongst other topics will cover costs in ADR and Court directed mediations.  The conference will be chaired by our Managing Partner Noel Guiden.  Further details are available from denise.maguire@ashvillemediagroup.com.