CIB Chief Executive attends first meeting of the New Legal Services Regulatory Authority
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D, has met the Board members of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, which held its first meeting this week. Angela Black, CIB Chief Executive is a member of the new Regulatory Authority. Its role is to establish independent regulation of the legal profession, to improve access and competition, make legal costs more transparent and ensure adequate procedures for addressing consumer complaints.
Speaking about her inclusion on the board Angela Black said: "I and my fellow board members will be working towards a rigorous but fair system of regulation of legal services in Ireland. It is important that all residents of Ireland can obtain affordable legal aid and advice, particularly in relation to social and financial service difficulties."
The eleven members of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, which has a lay majority and a lay Chair, were initially put forward by the ten prescribed nominating bodies set out in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. This was done as a way of ensuring the independence of the new body while also representing a balance of interests between legal practitioners and those consumers who avail of their services. The members, who have all been duly approved for appointment by resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas, are: -
- Angela Black - The Citizens Information Board
- Don Thornhill – Chairperson - the Higher Education Authority
- Deirdre McHugh - the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
- Gerry Whyte - the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
- Stephen Fitzpatrick - the Institute of Legal Costs Accountants
- Dermott Jewell - the Consumers Association of Ireland
- David Barniville - the Bar Council
- Joan Crawford - the Legal Aid Board
- Eileen Barrington - the Honorable Society of King’s Inns
- Geraldine Clarke and James MacGuill - the Law Society
The Tánaiste said: "I am delighted that Dr. Don Thornhill and the members of the Authority have held their first meeting. He and his colleagues on the Authority will bring much experience, knowledge and direction to the roll-out of the new regulatory regime being introduced under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. The new Authority is now an independent regulator in its own right."
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D with the Board of the new Legal Services Regulatory Authority.