Firm Newsletter December 2012 no.25

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Planning Relaxation – Simon Rea

A new package of planning measures are due to be announced with the hope of kick starting the UK economy.  George Osbourne MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said that the planning laws could be streamlined to boost the economy.  A forthcoming bill will detail moves to lift restrictions on planning development in the countryside.  The UK Government think-tank Policy Exchange headed by the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP, has suggested that curbs on greenbelt development should be eased to address the current housing shortage in the UK.

The expected measures include:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help complete 75,000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable.  Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes.  The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of housing associations and private sector developers.
  • Building up to 15,000 affordable homes and bringing 5,000 energy deficient homes back into use with new capital funding of £300 million and the Infrastructure Guarantee.
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector.
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast-track scheme where councils or cash-strapped developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on under performing town hall planning departments, putting  the worst into “special measures” if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to by-pass councils.  Most applications also will go into a fast-track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first time buyers helped with a £280 million extension of the successful “FirstBuy” scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a limited time period, it is proposed to slash planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of homeowners and companies.

Policy Exchange has also proposed a scheme by which payments could be given to homeowners living in the countryside to encourage them to accept major new developments on greenbelt land.  This has prompted concerns that such ‘bribes’ would lead to more development on greenbelt land than necessary.  However this is set against the established view that house prices are typically 20% higher than the true value of property, partly as a result of a shortage of homes.  The report produced by Policy Exchange has urged the Government to introduce “short term” reforms before 2015 to release new land onto the market for development.  Policy Exchange’s proposals also include the following:

- Urban development on green field sites near existing cities and garden cities where there is support from local people;

- Stripping Local Councils of their powers to block such developments; and

- Long term reforms to require developers to pay compensation to residents for building on green belt land nearby and to ensure that new housing estates include outdoor spaces.

The report produced by Policy Exchange has underlined a difficult and politically emotive topic but one which has very practical and necessary application.  The report has said “sadly, distrust of new development is so high (due to the failures of the planning system) that loss aversion may mean without such compensation new development on Greenfield [land] will be difficult in the next few years.”

Currently developers may pay compensation to Councils which can be up to £30,000 for every new home built.  The proposals mean that this will be paid directly to residents and may be a balm to sooth local resistance

Legal 500 Award

O'Rourke Reid Law Firm is pleased to announce that we have been included in the Legal 500 2012 listing as a leading firm for Defendant personal injury and Commercial Property.

Your Business Online

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce held a Networking Breakfast Seminar, sponsored by O’Rourke Reid Law Firm, entitled ‘Your Business Online’ on Thursday 13th September 2012 at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

Steve Aiken, CEO of the BICC informed those present that since being founded, the Chamber had grown from 86 members to over 200.  At present BICC had 9 sub committees involved in representing, influencing and supporting members on both sides of the Irish Sea. 

Robert Haniver and Helen Whelan of O’Rourke Reid’s Corporate and Commercial Law Department explained how companies must comply with issues such as Data Protection, copyright and terms of use in relation to their website.  They also spoke about forthcoming and proposed changes to EU legislation such as the Consumer Rights Directive which will come into force in December 2013.

The differences between business to business and consumer transactions was discussed.  User generated content and defamation with changes to the UK’s Defamation Act were also highlighted.

The seminar was followed by a lively Q&A session, and concluded with an opportunity for networking and refreshments.

Regulating Property Service Providers – Bernie Coleman

The Property Services Regulatory Authority (‘the Authority’) was established on a statutory basis on 3rd April 2012 under the Property Services (Regulation) Act, 2011 (the Act).

Property Service Providers
One of the main functions of the Authority is to licence and regulate property service providers.  From 6th July 2012, it took over the licensing of auctioneers, estate agents and letting agents from the Courts Service and the Revenue Commissioners.  The Act introduced a new licensing regime for managing agents.

From this date, it is now a criminal offence for a person to provide a property service, to present themselves as available to provide a property service or advertise the provision of a property service unless the person is the holder of a current licence.  The penalties for breach are a fine or imprisonment for a term up to 5 years or both on conviction on indictment.

Application for a licence is made to the Authority in the specified form and must be accompanied by the following: character and competence references, a qualified accountant’s report confirming that appropriate financial systems and controls for the protection of client monies are or shall be in place, evidence of the required level of professional indemnity insurance and the appropriate fee.  The Authority may require additional information or a certificate from a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána.

The Authority may refuse the licence if the applicant has not supplied the requisite information, has not made the appropriate contribution to the Property Services Compensation Fund (‘the Fund’), is under the age of 18 years, is an un-discharged bankrupt or does not hold a tax clearance certificate.

The current licence fee is €1,000 for an employer or independent contractor and €100 for an employee.  The current contribution to the Fund is €200 for an employer or independent contractor and €50 for an employee.  The payment to the Fund must be made within 7 days of the applicant being notified that the licence will issue.

The Act sets out the general obligations of a property service provider with regard to the issue of a formal letter of engagement, the retention of records for a minimum period of six years, the maintenance of professional indemnity insurance and the establishment and maintenance of a client  account.  The Authority has the power to investigate complaints, instigate investigations and procure sanctions if necessary by application to the High Court for wrong-doing or improper conduct.

Residential Property Sales Index
The other main function of the Authority is to establish, maintain and publish a residential property sales price index (‘the Index’) and a database of commercial property leases (‘the Database’).

The Index shall record the address of the property, the price at which the property was sold and the date of sale.  As the Act is silent on how this information is furnished to the Authority, the assumption must be that it is provided automatically by the Revenue Commissioners.

Commercial Lease Database
With regard to the Database, the situation is different.  The tenant is responsible for furnishing the appropriate information to the Authority within 30 days of a stamp certificate being received from the Revenue Commissioners or such other period as may be prescribed by law.

The appropriate information includes:- the lease commencement date, any capital payment from either party to the other party; frequency of rent reviews; liability for rates, insurance, service charge and repairs; the net floor area of each floor; rent free periods, fitting out  time, fit out allowance or break clauses and the stamp certificate reference number.

Where the rent has been reviewed on a current lease, the tenant must provide the Authority with details of the reviewed rent and any other variations made to the lease during or for the purposes of the rent review. The tenant must also notify the Authority when his interest ceases.  Parties to a lease, sublease or assignment of a lease cannot contract out of the provisions of the Act.

This is a very welcome piece of legislation and is long overdue in regulating the business of property agents and property managers in Ireland.  It is also most welcoming in highlighting commercial information on sales and leases.

If you require more detailed information regarding the provisions of the Act or the various Regulations, please contact our Commercial Property Department.

Sick of being Absent – Ian Steel

Statistics abound about the level of absence from work due to sickness and the cost to employers in the UK.  A recent Confederation of British Industry Report states the average absence rate in the public sector is 8.1 days per year compared to 5.9 days in the private sector.  A 2011 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Report calculated that the average cost of an employee’s annual sickness absence is £673.  In a recent survey carried out by MORI, one in ten employees had taken time off for depression while 26% of people surveyed had been diagnosed as suffering from depression during their life.

Despite the cost of absences to companies, few employers have a formal sickness absence management system and tend to deal with unacceptable sickness absence levels on an ad hoc basis.  This type of approach can result in further costs and loss of time for the employer particularly if an aggrieved employee claims unfair dismissal because their sickness absence is similar to a colleague, or disability discrimination if the sickness absence is caused by a disability.  

We recommend the following six steps to reduce the cost of sickness absence and the potential cost of proceedings being issued against you: 

  • Adopt a formal absence policy procedure.  Consider automatic referral to a capability hearing for exceeding pre- determined absence levels;
  • Accurately record and monitor absences;
  • Contact sick employees as soon as possible and arrange home visits if appropriate to understand the cause of the illness.  It may be beneficial to establish what tasks the employee accepts they can do despite their illness.  Based on this information, you can consider alternative work for the employee.  Ask the employee if any reasonable adjustments would be appropriate to facilitate a return to work or on-going assistance;
  • Seek access to medical information at an early stage;
  • Obtain medical evidence either from a GP or an independent Occupational Health Therapist when appropriate; and
  • Conduct return to work interviews.

We will provide a simple sickness absence procedure template free of charge to any O’Rourke Reid client requesting one on or before 1st February 2013.  To obtain a copy, please send an email to

Employment Tribunal Fees to be introduced Summer 2013

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it will introduce fees for UK Employment Tribunals from the summer of 2013.

At the time of writing, the fee structure has not been confirmed but it is expected that claims will be divided into two categories, Level 1 for simple claims and Level 2 for more complex claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.  It is proposed that the Claimant will have to pay a £160 issue fee for Level 1 claims and £250 for Level 2 claims.  For cases that do not settle, the Claimant will have to pay a further £230 and £950 if the claim proceeds to a hearing.

Employment Tribunal Trends

A recent publication by the Ministry of Justice (20th September 2012) shows a 2% fall in the number of single UK Employment Tribunal claims being issued and a 19% reduction in the number of multiple claims being issued.  The Report also shows an increase in the number of costs awards being made, up from 487 to 1411.  The average unfair dismissal award now stands at £9,133.

The number of unfair dismissal claims are expected to fall following the introduction of the 2 years service requirement for anyone issuing a claim for unfair dismissal.

Anti-Squatting Legislations Update – First Squatter Jailed – Rehana Bakhat

The Background legislation

A new criminal offence of squatting in residential premises was created by Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (‘the Act’).  This Act came into force on 1st September.  The police now have powers of arrest and offenders will be liable for up to 51 weeks in prison or a fine of up to £5,000.

Squatting has increased as a result of the economic and housing downturn.  As a consequence of the downturn, the amount of vacant properties has increased.  Homelessness is a serious concern, as squatting has an adverse negative effect on property owners.

Though squatting has been a criminal offence in Scotland for many years, in England and Wales, criminalisation has been opposed by many homeless charities and groups who object to making numerous vacant houses unavailable in this way. 

Under the old regime for owners to recover possession of their property, they would have to rely on the civil procedure which was expensive and time consuming.  Criminalisation sends a stern message that squatting in residential properties will not be tolerated.  There are organisations that feel that the current reforms do not go far enough, particularly as it fails to address commercial property squatting.

Scope and limitations of the new offence

Under the Act a squatter commits an offence if;

  • He or she is in a residential building as a trespasser having entered it as a trespasser;
  • He or she knows or ought to know that they are a trespasser;
  • He or she is living in the building or intends to live there for any period; and
  • The building is residential if it is designed or adapted before the time of entry to be used as a place to live.

The Act excludes all commercial property or land, even if it is adapted after the squatter’s entry onto the premises.  It also excludes an individual who is remaining in occupation and without agreement after the expiry of a lease or license.

The effectiveness of the Act relies ultimately in the willingness of the police and Crown Prosecution Service to enforce the offence.

The first squatter to be jailed was Alex Haigh, a 21 year old man who was arrested in a flat in Pimlico, Central London.  He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to occupying a housing association flat without consent.

During the trial at the West London Magistrates, it was reported that the police officers had gone to the flat in Cumberland Street in search of another man.  They arrested three people, one of whom was Haigh, on suspicion of squatting and all three were convicted of the offence.  Haigh was the first of the three to be sentenced.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that a circular has been sent to judges, courts and the police that what was known previously as ‘squatters rights’ has now become redundant in relation to residential premises.

Is a grossly exaggerated claim an abuse of process? – The Litigation Department, Leeds

In a recent decision, the UK Supreme Court, in the case of Fairclough Homes v Summers, ruled that a fraudulent claimant was entitled to retain the damages awarded to him in respect of the genuine element of his claim.  Although not exercised in this case, the courtunanimously held that it has jurisdiction tostrike out a claim for abuse of process.  This power can be exercised even after the trialconcluded where there has been properassessment of both liability and the amount of damages.

Mr. Summers had an accident at work in 2003 for which liability was not in dispute.  He claimed damages in excess of £800,000 including loss of earnings up to October 2008.  However, surveillance carried out showed that he was grossly exaggerating his injuries and his capacity for work.  After the surveillance was disclosed in court, the Defence was amended to plead that the claim should be struck out.  Summers subsequently revised his claim for damages to £250,000 in documents supported by a statement of truth.

At first instance, he was awarded £88,716.76.  This was upheld on appeal despite the Defendant’s argument that the claim was tainted by fraud and was an abuse of process.  This was the argument before the UK Supreme Court.

The general position is that a person cannot be deprived of an award of damages to which he is otherwise entitled on the ground that he is guilty of an abuse of process.  However the court does have the power to strike out the case even after trial.

It is common ground that to deliberately make a false claim and to adduce false evidence is an abuse of process.  The only restriction is that the court has a duty to decide cases in accordance with the overriding objective of determining cases justly.  That said, such power should only be used in exceptional circumstances.  In other words, the abuse of process must be so extreme that the Claimant forfeits his right to have his claim determined.  This is largely a theoretical possibility when the liability of the Defendant has been assessed.

This approach was held to be compatible with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights which enshrines the right to a fair and public hearing.  Any strike out of a claim must be a proportionate means of achieving the aim of controlling the process of the court and dealing with cases in a just manner. 

By making false statements, Summers had abused the process of the court.  Nonetheless he did suffer a significant injury as a result of the Defendant’s breach of duty and under the circumstances, it was decided that it would not be proportionate or just to strike out the claim.

Insurers are unlikely to be happy with this ruling as the court rejected the contention that, unless exaggerated claims are struck out, dishonest claimants will not be deterred.  The insurers believe that deterrence can be achieved by ensuring that dishonesty does not lead to an increase in the amount of damages.  Such a Claimant could also be penalised by costs orders, reduced interest and criminal proceedings for contempt.

Permission to bring contempt proceedings against Summers was refused although there was the option of taking the case to the Attorney General.  The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently concluded that it was not in the public interest to prosecute him.

Although this case gives some clarification as to the powers of the court in exaggerated cases, it does not go as far as the insurance industry was hoping in the fight against fraud.  As such there is still no clear guidance as to what would constitute a serious attempt to deceive.

Awards to Rise by 10% in 2013 – Emma Farrell

In the foreword to his Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report, Lord JusticeJackson stated that “in some areas of civil litigation costs are disproportionate and impede access to justice.  I therefore propose a coherent package of interlocking reforms, designed to control costs and promote access to justice.” 

One of the proposed reforms was that defendants should no longer be liable for success fees and insurance premia in no win, no fee cases.  To compensate claimants for this loss, it was also proposed that general damages awards for personal injuries and other civil wrongs should be increased by 10%.  To date, these recommendations have not been implemented although the Government has given an undertaking to do so by way of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.  The intended timeframe for all recommendations to come into force is 1st April 2013 but it is not clear precisely how these will take effect.

Some guidance has been provided in relation to the 10% increase by the Court of Appeal in Christopher Simmons –v- Derek Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1039.  This judgement arose out of an application to approve a settlement of an appeal brought in a personal injury claim.  Whilst initially it appeared that the 10% increase would apply to all cases where judgement is given after 1st April 2013, the Court of Appeal have now clarified this decision to confirm that the increase will not apply to cases where the claimant had the benefit of a CFA or CCFA before 1st April 2013 as in these cases, the success fee will still be payable by the defendant. 

Whilst this rules out the prospect that such claimants would receive a windfall, it appears that the 10% increase will still be applied for those who fund their claims without such a no win, no fee arrangement (and thus have no success fee to pay), thus giving them an additional 10% damages with no additional outlay

Start or Stop Mortgages – Daniel Doyle

Following the ruling by Ms. Justice Dunne in the Start Mortgages case (Start Mortgages Ltd & Others v Gunn & Others [2011] IEHC 275), there was considerable uncertaintyregarding the ability of mortgagees toappoint receivers in repossession casesarising under security pre-dating the Landand Conveyancing Reform Act 2009 (“the2009 Act”).  The 2009 Act provided new provisions in relation to mortgages andrepealed key enforcement provisions applicable to pre - 1st of December 2009security.

Section 62 (7) of the Registration of Title Act 1964 (“the 1964 Act”) allowed the owner of a charge over registered land to apply for an Order for possession of the property on a summary basis.

In the Start Mortgages case, Ms. Justice Dunne held that mortgagees did not have an estate or interest in land sufficient to enable them to recover possession at the time a charge was put in place and that the right to recover possession of registered land would only arise after principal sums due under the terms of a mortgage became due and a demand letter had issued.  She further held that given the repeal of the 1964 Act, in cases where a formal demand for repayment had not been made prior to the 1st of December 2009 mortgagees could not utilise summary proceedings to apply for possession because the right to possession had not accrued prior to the date of repeal of the 1964 Act.

In subsequent cases, the High Court appears to have narrowed the scope of the Start Mortgages decision.  For example, in the case of Kavanagh & Another v Lynch & Others, Ms. Justice Laffoy was asked to rule on the application of a mortgagee’s statutory powers to appoint receivers pursuant to Section 19 of the Conveyance Act 1881 (“the 1881 Act”).  Ms. Justice Laffoy held that where statutory rights pursuant to the 1881 Act are incorporated into the contract (mortgage) between the parties, they would not be affected by the repeal of the 1881 Act.

In EBS Limited v Gillespie, the High Court further limited the scope of the Start mortgages decision.  Ms. Justice Laffoy found that in certain circumstances there was no requirement to have issued a demand for repayment of principal monies prior to the repeal of the 1881 Acts.  According to Ms. Justice Laffoy, the mortgagee had to show repayment of the principal monies had become due prior to the 1st of December of 2009.  However depending on the wording in the mortgage document, a formal demand for repayment may not always had to have issued prior to that date for the mortgagee to have acquired enforcement rights under the 1881 Act.

Further comfort for mortgagees in relation to charges created under security pre-dating the 2009 Act has now been provided following the High Court judgement in McEnery v Sheahan [2012] IEHC 331, delivered 30th July 2012.  In that case Mr. Justice Feeney presiding, held that a mortgagee relying on a charge created before the 1st of December 2009 acquired its right to appoint a receiver under the 1881 Act at the time the charge was created and that the right to appoint a receiver survived the repeal of the 1881 Act.

Therefore it was held that a mortgagee acquired a statutory right under the 1881 Act to appoint a receiver even though as of the date the right was created, the mortgagee may not have been able to exercise the right unless and until certain circumstances changed to allow enforcement.  Further, the court held the right which was acquired prior to the repeal of the relevant statutory provisions, was not affected by the subsequent repeal thereby finding the repeal of the 1881 Act by the 2009 Act did not affect a mortgagee’s right to appoint a receiver.

This provides a level of clarity in relation to the power of mortgagees to appoint a receiver in circumstances where the 2009 Act has repealed prior legislation.  However the issue is not yet resolved as the Start Mortgages decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Until the resolution of that appeal and/or intervention through legislation to rectify the so called “lacunna” created by the 2009 Act, it is likely that uncertainty and court challenges will continue.

A Taste of Britain

O’Rourke Reid were delighted to have been one of the sponsors of ‘A Taste of Britain’, aimed at introducing UK food and drink SMEs to the Irish marketplace.  The event took place in and around Dublin city on 26th and 27th September last.

The event was organised and led by the UK Trade and Investment’s Dublin office.  It included a series of seminars with leading experts in the Irish food and drink industry and Irish market experts.  Helen Whelan of O’Rourke Reid addressed ‘Legal Issues: Keeping on the right side of the law’ outlining some legal issues in doing business in Ireland.

In addition to the multiple networking opportunities over the course of an intensive two day programme, the delegates visited some of Dublin’s best known food emporiums such as Fallon & Byrne, Avoca and Donnybrook Fair as well as large food retailers.  Ireland is the UK’s largest export market for food and drink products.  In 2011, UK food and drink exports to Ireland amounted to £3.1bn.

‘A Taste of Britain’ was co-located at SHOP.  SHOP is Ireland’s retail, food, drink & hospitality show.  Over 600 buyers attended the show and they had an opportunity to sample the various products offered by the delegates. 

O’Rourke Reid were available to give legal advice and assistance to the delegates throughout the two day event during both the formal sessions and at the networking events.  O’Rourke Reid also exhibited at the ‘A Taste of Britain’ event.

John Reid, Managing Partner of O’Rourke Reid said that ‘Britain is our largest trading partner and O’Rourke Reid Law Firm is proud to sponsor this important initiative to enhance the existing strong trade relationship between us in this key sector.’

‘A Taste of Britain’ was organised by UK Trade and Investment and co-sponsored by
Ulster Bank, O'Rourke Reid, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, Aer Lingus, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and SHOP.

New Credit Rating Regime – Helen H. Whelan

The Department of Finance recently published the Credit Reporting Bill (‘the Bill’).  The object of the Bill is to reform credit reporting in Ireland and put the regime on a statutory footing.  It forms part of the commitments made in the EU/IMF Programme.

The Bill establishes a Central Credit Register (“CCR”) to be administered by the Central Bank.  The CCR will hold personal information and credit information provided by financial institutions (including credit unions), hire purchase finance providers, NAMA and local authorities.  Any further regulation of personal information required under the Bill will issue only after consultation with the Data Protection Commissioner.


Personal information held will include name, address, PPS number, employment status and mother’s maiden name.  For sole traders, additional information including the VAT registration number will be required.  Companies will have to furnish their registration details from the Companies Registration Office.

Credit information relates to credit applications and credit agreements and includes the nature and term of the credit, any guarantee or indemnity, the rate of interest payable and any proposal or arrangement with respect to debts.

Information may not be held indefinitely unless it is anonymised, for instance, by the Central Bank for the purposes of creating a credit scoring system.  For credit applications, the time limit is 6 months from the date of entry onto the CCR.  Information which identifies the subject and relates to credit agreements may be held for 5 years in respect of debt arrangements or performance information or until the end of the term of the credit agreement whichever is the longer period.

A credit information subject (borrower) may apply to amend the information held on the register on the grounds that it is inaccurate, incomplete or not up to date.  There are strict time limits within which the Central Bank must respond and make decisions in respect of such application.

The credit information providers (financial institutions and others) must deliver personal and credit information relating to any ‘qualifying’ credit arrangement.  As drafted, an application or agreement for any sum in excess of €500 is a qualifying credit arrangement.  Where an applicant or borrower holds in excess of €5,000 in foreign credit, they are required to provide information to their financial institution in respect of that foreign credit.

Why inform?

The Bill provides that all financial providers must carry out mandatory credit checks by accessing information held on the CCR when any person makes an application for credit in excess of €2,000.  Financial providers are also permitted to access the information on the CCR where the borrower or a guarantor has requested the financial provider to change the nature or term of the credit arrangement and where there is default in loan performance. 

Importantly, CCR access may only be used for limited purposes:

  • Verifying information provided in a credit application;
  • Evaluating the risk of extending credit;
  • Evaluating the risk of changing the nature or term of a credit arrangement;
  • Monitoring default; and
  • Evaluating a debt proposal or arrangement with the credit subject.

The financial provider must keep a record of every instance where they access credit information for a period of five years from the date of access.

In an effort to deal with identity theft, there are provisions dealing with the obligations of
financial providers and the Central Bank where there are suspicions of personation including notices on the CCR for up to two periods totalling 180 days.

The cost of the CCR will be funded by a levy on all financial providers and the Central Bank may charge a fee for access to the information held.  Where information is accessed outside the permitted instances under the Bill, there are both civil and criminal penalties.


The Bill forms part of the suite of legislation and regulation change aimed at preventing another credit bubble wrecking havoc on the economy.  Only when the entire array of legislation including the Personal Insolvency Regime has been enacted will we be able to decide whether credit provision in Ireland has been radically transformed.  Expectations are low.

Personal Insolvency Briefing

Helen Whelan, Corporate and Commercial Law, was one of the speakers at a lunch seminar hosted by Finance One on 7th November 2012 as part of their Advisory Service Briefings.  A large group assembled to hear views on the Personal Insolvency Bill 2012.  The seminar aimed to give legal advisors, accountancy practitioners and financial institutions practical guidance on the proposals for the new regime.  The other speakers were Peter Kinahan, Stubbs Gazette, and Robert Becker, Pegasus Trust.

Helen outlined the origins of the Bill in commitments to the troika to begin dealing with personal indebtedness levels in Ireland.  She gave a legal overview of the Bill, focusing on the Personal Insolvency Arrangement.  Helen noted criticisms of the provisions of the Bill including from the troika on the level of secured debt which could be included in a Personal Insolvency Arrangement.  In her discussion, she outlined possible scenarios advisers may encounter and gave examples of potential outcomes for clients.

If you would like to discuss or host a seminar in your organisation about Personal Insolvency, please contact us and we would be happy to assist.


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