Advertising by Lawyers

Solicitors and barristers are entitled to advertise their legal services to you. There are some restrictions on what the advertisements can contain, what form they can take and where they are located. On this page you can find out how the LSRA’s advertising rules work and what you can do if you have a concern about an advertisement.

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How the LSRA regulates legal services advertising

The LSRA regulates legal services advertising under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Advertising) Regulations 2020.

Under the regulations, legal practitioners are allowed to advertise their legal services. There are some restrictions on both the content of the advertisements and the form of the advertisements.

The regulations cover print, audio and visual advertisements, including online advertisements.

They apply to:

  • solicitors and firms of solicitors
  • barristers
  • limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
  • groups of legal practitioners who advertise themselves as a group.

Restrictions on Advertising

Here are examples of some of the types of advertisements that are not permitted under the regulations:

  • Advertisements which use phrases “no win no fee”, “no foal no fee” and “free first consultation” or similar phrases which could suggest that legal services in connection with claims for personal injuries would be provided by the legal practitioner at no cost to the client. This prohibition only applies to advertisements which refer to personal injuries (or other words which describe categories of cases where claims for personal injuries may arise e.g. ‘motor accidents’, ‘workplace accidents’, ‘public place accidents’) as part of the legal services provided by the legal practitioner.
  • Advertisements which solicit, encourage or offer inducement to a person or a group to make claims for personal injuries or seek legal services in connection with such claims.
  • Advertisements which include an amount of possible damages for personal injury claims that are not based on the Book of Quantum produced by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or any other statutory guidelines.
  • Advertisements in any form in an inappropriate location such as a hospital, clinic, doctor’s surgery, funeral home, cemetery, crematorium or similar.
  • Advertisements which refer to the “success rate” of a legal practitioner.

Also not permitted under the regulations are advertisements which are likely to bring the legal profession into disrepute; are in bad taste; reflect unfavourably on another legal practitioner; are false or misleading.

An advertisement must also state by whom it is published.

This is not a complete list of what it permitted and what is not permitted.

For full details, the Regulations are available to download.

Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (Advertising) Regulations 2020

What We Can Do – LSRA investigation and enforcement

The LSRA may carry out investigations into particular advertisements, either on foot of a complaint received or on its own initiative. The main features are:

  • The LSRA may decide that a particular advertisement contravenes the regulations or the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.
  • If so, the LSRA will give the legal practitioner time to restrict the publication of the advertisement or take other steps it directs.
  • The LSRA can apply to the High Court for an order prohibiting a legal practitioner from contravening the regulations.

How to Raise a Concern

If you have concerns that an advertisement for legal services breaches the rules as set out in the Advertising Regulations 2020, you can notify the LSRA.  We will consider your concerns and may choose to investigate.

By Email
Please send an email to [email protected]

Please use the subject line: Legal Services Advertisement

By Post
Alternatively, you can write to us outlining your concern to:

Advertising
Office of the Chief Executive
Legal Services Regulatory Authority
P.O. Box 12906
Dublin 7

Your use of emails will greatly assist us with processing your correspondence at this time.

Complaints about Misconduct

You may also complain to us if you consider that the publication by a solicitor or barrister of an advertisement constitutes misconduct under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.

More information for consumers on how we handle complaints about solicitors and barristers is available on the Complaints page.