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SOLICITORS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1994
Preliminary and General
Short title, collective citation, construction and commencement.
1. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994.
(2) The Solicitors Acts, 1954 and 1960 , and this Act may be cited together as the Solicitors Acts, 1954 to 1994, and shall be construed together as one Act.
(3) Section 68 of this Act shall come into operation 3 months after the date of its passing.
(4) Sections 16 , 17 , 18 , 22 , 23 , 25 and 58 (3) of this Act shall come into operation on such day as may be fixed by order of the Minister.
2. —In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“the Principal Act” means the Solicitors Act, 1954;
“the Act of 1960” means the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1960;
“apprentice” includes a person who has completed the term of his indentures of apprenticeship but who has not yet been admitted as a solicitor;
“authorised person” means a person authorised in writing by the Society for the purpose of exercising any of the Society's functions pursuant to section 14 of this Act or pursuant to or as prescribed pursuant to section 66 (as substituted by this Act) of the Principal Act;
“bank” and cognate words shall be construed in accordance with section 75 of this Act;
“bill of costs” includes any statement of account sent, or demand made, by a solicitor to a client for fees, charges, outlays, disbursements or expenses;
“clerk or servant” includes an apprentice and a person employed whole-time or part-time by a solicitor and a person providing services under a contract for services;
“client” includes the personal representative of a client and any person on whose behalf the person who gave instructions was acting in relation to any matter in which a solicitor or his firm had been instructed; and includes a beneficiary to an estate under a will, intestacy or trust;
“client account” means an account opened and kept by a solicitor arising from his practice as a solicitor at a bank for clients' moneys, in accordance with regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) of section 66 (as substituted by this Act) of the Principal Act;
“clients' moneys” means moneys received, held or controlled by a solicitor arising from his practice as a solicitor for or on account of a client or clients, whether the moneys are received, held or controlled by him as agent, bailee, stakeholder, trustee or in any other capacity;
“Compensation Fund” means the fund maintained by the Society pursuant to sections 21 and 22 (as substituted by this Act) of the Act of 1960;
“contentious business” means business done by a solicitor in or for the purposes of or in contemplation of proceedings before a court or tribunal or before an arbitrator appointed under the Arbitration Acts, 1954 and 1980 ;
“Disciplinary Tribunal” means the Disciplinary Tribunal established by section 6 (as substituted by this Act) of the Act of 1960, and, as and from the coming into operation of section 16 of this Act, any reference to the Disciplinary Committee in the Act of 1960 shall, subject to section 16 (2) of this Act, be construed as a reference to the Disciplinary Tribunal;
“indentures” means indentures of apprenticeship;
“indentures of apprenticeship” includes any form of agreement as may be prescribed whereunder solicitors in the course of their practice as solicitors provide training for persons seeking to be admitted as solicitors;
“legal services” means services of a legal or financial nature provided by a solicitor arising from that solicitor's practice as a solicitor, and includes any part of such services;
“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice;
“moneys” includes moneys in a currency other than that of the State, cheques, bank notes, postal orders, money orders or any form of negotiable or non-negotiable instrument, moneys deposited or otherwise credited to a bank account or moneys deposited or otherwise credited to a bank or other financial institution outside the State;
“persons seeking to be admitted as solicitors” includes persons seeking to be bound by indentures of apprenticeship;
“the register” has the meaning assigned to it in section 47 (as substituted by this Act) of the Principal Act;
“sole practitioner” means a solicitor who is practising as a sole principal in a solicitor's practice.
Amendment of section 3 of Principal Act and amendment of sections 3 and 4 of Act of 1960.
3. —(1) Section 3 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by—
(a) the deletion of the definition of “solicitor” and the substitution of the following definition:
“‘solicitor’ means a person who has been admitted as a solicitor and whose name is on the roll; and a reference to a solicitor includes a reference to a firm of solicitors unless the context otherwise requires and includes a former solicitor or a deceased solicitor unless the context otherwise requires;”, and
(b) with effect from the 1st day of January, 1996, the substitution of the following definition for the definition of “practice year”:
“‘practice year’ means any year ending on the 31st day of December;”.
(2) Section 4 of the Act of 1960 is hereby repealed.
(3) Section 3 of the Act of 1960 is hereby amended by the deletion of the definition of “documents” and the substitution of the following definition:
“‘documents’ includes deeds, wills, papers, books of account, records, vouchers, correspondence and files and shall be construed to include any documents stored in an electronic or other non-written form or on film or otherwise;”.