The Legal Services Regulatory Authority is pleased to confirm that parliamentary approval has been given for the reappointment of four serving Authority members and the appointment of one new member.

The Authority is an independent statutory body, established in October 2016 and responsible for the regulation of legal services provided by solicitors and barristers. The Authority is formed from nominees of ten organisations listed in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. It has a lay majority. The names of nominees are approved by the Cabinet and resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Following a government decision on 28 October 2020, the appointment of one new Authority member and the reappointment of four current Authority members was approved by the Dáil and Seanad on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

The appointment and reappointments, which take effect from 1 October 2020, are:

  • Simon Murphy, newly appointed Authority member, and one of two members nominated by the Law Society of Ireland.
  • Eileen Barrington SC, reappointed nominee of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.
  • Angela Black, reappointed nominee of the Citizens Information Board.
  • Joan Crawford, reappointment nominee of the Legal Aid Board.
  • Dr Don Thornhill (Chair), reappointed nominee of the Higher Education Authority.

Welcoming the appointment and reappointments, the chair of the Authority, Dr Don Thornhill said:

“The Authority members bring significant practical, academic and legal experience and expertise to the Authority as it continues with its challenging work programme in fulfilment of its statutory mandate to regulate the provision of legal services and ensure the maintenance and improvement of standards in the provision of such services and promoting and protecting the public interest including those of consumers.”

Notes to Editors: About the Legal Services Regulatory Authority

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority is an independent statutory body set up under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 with a range of functions. These include regulating the provision of legal services by legal practitioners (barristers and solicitors) and ensuring the maintenance and improvement of standards in the provision of legal services.

Since its establishment in October 2016, the LSRA has put in place systems and protocols to ensure the smooth roll out of its functions under the Act. The LSRA has undertaken detailed research, consulted extensively with stakeholders in the legal services arena, and established the Roll of Practising Barristers. Since October 2019, the LSRA has been receiving and investigating complaints about legal services provided by barristers and solicitors.

Membership of Authority

The membership of the LSRA comprises eleven nominees from a total of ten organisations listed in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. The legislation prescribes that the Authority’s six lay members are nominated by the Citizens Information Board, the Higher Education Authority, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the Institute of Legal Costs Accountants and the Consumers’ Association of Ireland and that the Authority’s five non-lay members are nominated by the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland, the Legal Aid Board and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. Mr Simon Murphy was nominated by the Council of the Law Society in September 2020 to replace Mr James MacGuill.

The Authority is required by law to be independent in the performance of its functions. Authority members are required to protect and promote the public interest. They are nominees and not representatives of the nominating bodies.

The LSRA’s Chief Executive is Dr Brian Doherty.

ENDS