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37 1960

SOLICITORS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1960

PART IV

Miscellaneous

Transfer to the President of the High Court of certain functions of the Chief Justice under the Principal Act, and rules of court in relation to the exercise of those functions.

25. —(1) The functions of the Chief Justice under any of the provisions (other than subsection (3) of section 14) of the Principal Act are hereby transferred to the President of the High Court, and references in those provisions to the Chief Justice shall be construed accordingly.

(2) (a) The Superior Courts Rules Committee may make rules of court for the purposes of the hearing by the President of the High Court of applications and appeals under the Principal Act, as amended by subsection (1) of this section, and generally as to procedure in relation to those matters.

(b) An order made on any application or appeal to the President of the High Court under the Principal Act, as amended by subsection (1) of this section, may contain such provisions as to costs as the President of the High Court considers proper.

Amendment of section 49 of the Principal Act.

26. —The following paragraphs shall be substituted for paragraph (l) of subsection (1) of section 49 of the Principal Act:

“(l) having failed to comply with an order of the High Court,

(m) having failed to comply with regulations made under section 66 or 71 of this Act.”

Amendment of section 73 of the Principal Act.

27. —The following subsections shall be added to section 73 of the Principal Act:

“(6) A member of a committee under this section may resign his office by letter sent by registered post to the Council and his resignation shall take effect on the date on which the letter is delivered.

(7) The Council may remove a member of a committee under this section, may fill a vacancy therein and may increase or reduce the number of persons thereon.

(8) A committee under this section may act notwithstanding one or more than one vacancy in their membership.

(9) A member of a committee under this section, who was a member of the Council at the date of his appointment, may act on the committee notwithstanding the fact that he has ceased to be a member of the Council and, for the purposes of paragraph (a) or (b) (where relevant) of subsection (3) of this section, he shall be regarded as a member of the Council.”

Amendment of the Sixth Schedule to the Principal Act.

28. —In paragraph 8 of the Sixth Schedule to the Principal Act, the reference to section 21 (repealed by this Act) of the Principal Act shall be construed as a reference to section 17 of this Act.

Penalty for false evidence, etc.

29. —Any person who, upon examination on oath authorised under this Act or the Principal Act, or in any affidavit in or about any matter arising under this Act or the Principal Act, wilfully and corruptly gives false evidence or wilfully and corruptly swears anything which is false, being convicted thereof, shall be liable to the penalties for wilful and corrupt perjury.

Service of documents.

30. —Where any document is required or authorised by or under the Principal Act or this Act or any regulations made thereunder to be served on any person, the following provisions shall apply in relation to the service of that document—

(a) it may be served—

(i) by delivering it to that person, or

(ii) by sending it by registered post in an envelope addressed to that person at his last known place of business or residence in the State or, if he is a solicitor, at the last address appearing in the register of practising solicitors,

(b) where that person is absent from the State or his whereabouts is unknown and cannot be ascertained by reasonable inquiries, or where the notice or document, having been sent by registered post in the manner specified in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of this subsection, has been returned undelivered, the High Court may make such order for substituted or other service, or for the substitution for service of notice, by advertisement or otherwise, as may seem just.

Provisions as to accountants' certificates.

31. —(1) Every solicitor to whom the provisions of the Solicitors' Accounts Regulations apply shall, once in each practice year, unless he satisfies the Society that owing to the circumstances of his case it is unnecessary to do so, deliver to the registrar a certificate signed by an accountant (in this section referred to as an accountant's certificate) stating—

(a) that in compliance with this section and any regulations made thereunder the accountant has examined the books, accounts and documents of the solicitor or his firm for such accounting period as may be specified in the certificate,

(b) whether or not the accountant is satisfied, from his examination of the books, accounts and documents produced to him and from the information and explanations given to him, that during the said accounting period the solicitor or his firm has complied with the Solicitors' Accounts Regulations, and

(c) if the accountant is not satisfied as aforesaid, the matters in respect of which he is not so satisfied.

(2) The Society shall, with the concurrence of the President of the High Court, make regulations (in this section referred to as the Accountant's Certificate Regulations) prescribing—

(a) the qualifications to be held by an accountant by whom an accountant's certificate may be given,

(b) the nature and extent of the examination to be made by the accountant of the books and accounts of a solicitor or his firm and of any other relevant documents with a view to the signing of a certificate to be delivered by the solicitor under this section,

(c) the form of the accountant's certificate, and

(d) the evidence, if any, which shall satisfy the Society that the delivery of an accountant's certificate is unnecessary and the cases in which such evidence is or is not required.

(3) The Accountant's Certificate Regulations may include provision—

(a) permitting in such special circumstances as may be defined in the regulations a different accounting period from that specified in subsection (4) of this section, and

(b) regulating any matters of procedure or matters incidental, ancillary or supplemental to the provisions of this section.

(4) Subject to the Accountant's Certificate Regulations, the accounting period for the purposes of an accountant's certificate shall—

(a) begin at the expiry of the last preceding accounting period for which an accountant's certificate has been delivered,

(b) cover not less than twelve months,

(c) terminate not more than twelve months, or such less period as the Accountant's Certificate Regulations may prescribe, before the date of the delivery of the certificate to the registrar, and

(d) where possible, consistently with the foregoing paragraphs, correspond to a period or consecutive periods for which the accounts of the solicitor or his firm are ordinarily made up.

(5) A certificate under the hand of the registrar shall, until the contrary is proved, be evidence that a solicitor has or, as the case may be, has not delivered to the registrar an accountant's certificate or supplied any evidence required under this section or the Accountant's Certificate Regulations.

(6) Before a practising certificate is issued to a solicitor, he shall comply with the provisions of this section and the Accountant's Certificate Regulations and the registrar may withhold the issue of the practising certificate until the solicitor delivers to him an accountant's certificate in respect of the last preceding accounting period stating that the solicitor has during that period complied with the Solicitors' Accounts Regulations.

Provisions in relation to certain accounts kept by a solicitor at a bank.

32. —(1) Where—

(a) a solicitor is adjudicated a bankrupt or enters into a composition with his creditors or a deed of arrangement for the benefit of his creditors or dies insolvent, and

(b) the sum at the credit of the client account kept by the solicitor at a bank in accordance with regulations made under section 66 of the Principal Act, or, where two or more such accounts are kept by the solicitor, the total of the sums at the credit of the said accounts, is less than the total of the sums received by the solicitor in the course of his practice on behalf of his clients and remaining due by him to them,

then, notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary, the sum at the credit of the said client account, or where the solicitor has kept two or more client accounts the total of the sums at the credit of those accounts, shall be divisible proportionately amongst the clients of the solicitor according to the respective sums received by the solicitor in the course of his practice on behalf of his clients and remaining due by him to them.

(2) For the purposes of this section no account shall be taken—

(a) of any account at a bank kept by the solicitor in his own name for a specified client,

(b) of sums received by the solicitor in the course of his practice on behalf of that client and remaining due by him to the client so far as represented by the sum in the bank account in the name of the solicitor for the client,

(c) of any account at a bank kept by the solicitor in his own name for moneys of any trust of which the sole trustee is the solicitor or the trustees are the solicitor with a partner, clerk or servant of his or with more than one of such persons, or

(d) of sums received by the solicitor in the course of his practice on behalf of that trust and remaining due by him to the trust so far as represented by the sum in the bank account in the name of the solicitor for the trust.

(3) Where the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy is appointed a trustee by the High Court under section 25 of the Trustee Act, 1893, in respect of any account or accounts kept by a solicitor at a bank in accordance with regulations made under section 68 of the Principal Act, there shall be payable in the Bankruptcy Office such court fees as are payable on a realisation account of the Official Assignee in a bankruptcy matter.

(4) For the purposes of this section any reference to an account at a bank shall include a reference to a deposit receipt at a bank.

Additional extraordinary members of the Council.

33. —(1) In this section—

the Charter” means the Royal Charter dated the 5th day of April, 1852, whereby the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland was, by the name of “the Incorporated Society of Attorneys and Solicitors of Ireland”, incorporated;

the Supplemental Charter” means the Royal Charter dated the 14th day of December, 1888, whereby the terms of the Charter were amended and extended.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Supplemental Charter, the Council may appoint as an additional extraordinary member of the Council any solicitor holding at the time of his appointment the office of President or member of the Council of the Dublin Solicitors' Bar Association.

(3) The number of additional extraordinary members shall not at any time be more than three.

(4) Every additional extraordinary member shall hold office for the period for which ordinary members of the Council, holding office at the time at which such additional extraordinary member is appointed, hold office.

(5) Additional extraordinary members shall have the same powers and duties during their terms of office as are given by the Charter and the Supplemental Charter to ordinary members of the Council, except that no extraordinary additional member shall be eligible to be President or Vice-President of the Council.