What Your Levy is For
As regulated legal professionals, solicitors and barristers pay an annual levy to the Legal Services Regulatory Authority. You can find more details here about how the levy works and what it means for you.
The LSRA collects a levy from regulated legal professionals on an annual basis.
The levy is paid to the Legal Services Regulatory Authority by:
- The Law Society of Ireland
- The Bar of Ireland
- Practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library.
Legal practitioners who are in the full time service of the State are exempted from paying the levy (as per section 97 of the 2015 Act).
The levy amount is determined each year by the LSRA with the consent of the Minister for Justice and Equality.
The LSRA’s levy powers are contained in Part 7 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, which commenced in August 2019.
The levy covers the operating costs and administrative expenses of the Authority incurred in the previous financial year.
The Levy will also fund the work of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, which is due to be established in 2020.
The Tribunal is an independent body which will hear cases of alleged misconduct against solicitors and barristers that are referred to it by the LSRA’s Complaints Committee and the Law Society.
Each year, the LSRA issues Levy Assessment Notices to the professional bodies, i.e. the Law Society of Ireland and the Bar of Ireland for their members. These include a due date for payment.
It also issues Notices directly to individual practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library and who are liable for the levy.
The Law Society and the Law Library pay a cumulative levy, on behalf of their members, to the LSRA.
Where a barrister is not a member of the Law Library and is not exempt from payment, a levy assessment notice will issue directly to them and they will pay the levy directly to the LSRA.
If all of the levy has not been paid within one month of the due date, a further notice will be issued.
This will include a copy of the original levy assessment and a notification of the rate of interest that will apply in the case of ongoing non-payment. If, after three months from the due date for the levy, it is still not paid in full, then:
- In the case of non-payment by practising barristers who are not members of the Law Library, they will be removed from the Roll of Practising Barristers which is maintained by the LSRA. In order to provide legal services in the State, a practising barrister must be listed on the Roll. Under section 136 of the 2015 Act it is a criminal offence to provide legal services without being entered on the Roll.
- In the case of non-payment by both individuals and the professional bodies, the LSRA may recover the amount outstanding as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.