English

Employers: Get your free copy of "The 16 Common Employment Law Mistakes that Most Irish Employers Make" and my regular money saving employment law tips via email. Sign up below.

Instant access. We respect your privacy.

admin

Our solicitor’s fees for debt collection matters are set out below.

 

There are some cases where we would need to discuss the case with your first to advise you as to the probable professional fee and outlays to expect.

 

solicitors-fees

Debtor Demand Letters

Our demand letters, which demand payment within 7 days, are customized to your requirements. We provide three types of 7 day demand letter which we describe as

  • Soft
  • Medium
  • Hard

Our fee for sending debt collection letter is €50 which may have the desired effect; other fees will be discussed with you at your first consultation.

 

What type of letter you choose will depend on your relationship with your debtor, how long the money is outstanding and your personal preference-you may for example decide that the softer versions is more appropriate in the first instance if you have built up a relationship with the debtor over some years.

 

Correspondence fee

Our correspondence fee will arise when a debtor contacts us in relation to the demand letter with a query or perhaps looking for additional documentation, an invoice or other information.

 

When this happens we refer the issue to you in the first instance. If you wish us to deal with the debtor by way of correspondence and organising a payment plan, receipt of the payments, issuing receipts and forwarding the monies to you there will be a correspondence fee to cover this work which is not recoverable from the debtor in the absence of legal proceedings being issued.

 

Our minimum correspondence fee is €45.

 

solicitors-fees1

Legal Fees in Defended cases

In defended cases, that is where a Notice of Intention to Defend or an Appearance is entered and the debtor contests the case, our fees will include the Professional fees set out below plus our hourly charge out rate which we will notify you of prior to commencing work.

 

You will of course receive a section 68 letter setting out our fees and expected outlays or the basis on which we will charge or an estimate of our fees prior to commencing work. Each case will have it’s own particular character, level of expertise, skill and responsibility requirements and for this reason it is impossible to be absolutely definitive as to our fees in respect of defended cases.

 

Legal fees for enforcement of Judgments

To apply for an instalment order in the District Court for a Judgment already obtained or to bring committal proceedings our fee is €195 plus vat.

 

We can also

  • Register a Judgment mortgage and
  • Liaise with the Sheriff to have your judgment enforced.

Legal Fees in Undefended Cases

Our legal fees for obtaining judgment on your behalf in undefended cases in the various Courts are as follows:

DEBT AMOUNT

PROFESSIONAL FEES

ESTIMATED OUTLAYS

APPROXIMATE RECOVERABLE COSTS

€318 to €635

€150.00

€45.00

€43.23

€636 to €1,270

€195.00

€45.00

€69.34

€1,271 to €1,905

€230.00

€45.00

€94.33

€1,906 to €2,540

€295.00

€45.00

€108.16

€2,541 to €3,175

€315.00

€45.00

€133.15

€3,276 to €3,810

€330.00

€45.00

€147.95

€3,811 to €4,444

€375.00

€45.00

€176.57

€4,445 to €5,079

€425.00

€45.00

€191.94

€5,080 to €5,714

€465.00

€45.00

€220.00

€5,715 to €6,349

€525.00

€145.00

€222.00

€6,350 to €11,000

€650.00

€145.00

€222.00

€11,001 to €20,000

€990.00

€145.00

€222.00

€20,001 to €38,000

€1,350.00

€145.00

€222.00

€38,001 to upwards

€1,995.00

€295.00

€222.00

If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact us and you will find that we are approachable, responsive, professional and competitive.

By Terry Gorry Google+

If you have a debt collection problem and you cannot get in monies owed to you Solicitors Dublin offers a comprehensive and very cost effective debt collection service.

debt-collection-solicitors

Regardless of whether your debt needs to be pursued in the District Court, the Circuit Court or the High Court the first step in any debt collection procedure is to send a demand letter to the debtor.

Debt demand letters

There are some essential elements in a demand letter in a debt collection procedure. These include

  • Who owes the debt and what kind of legal entity are they, for example sole trader, limited company, partnership and so on;
  • To whom is the debt owed;
  • How much is owed;
  • Is there interest accruing on foot of a contract;
  • Who are you;
  • For what is the debt owed;
  • Payment should be demanded within a specified time period;
  • What will happen should the debt not be paid;
  • And that the recipient should see a solicitor or legal professional.

debt-collection-dublin

District Court debt collection

The District Court has jurisdiction to deal with debts up to €6,348.69. If the debt is not paid on foot of the demand letter then the next step is to issue and serve a Civil Summons.

A District Court Civil Summons must include

  • The District Court Area
  • The District Court Number
  • Details of the parties
  • The amount you are claiming
  • The Plaintiff’s claim
  • That the debt fell due in the last 6 years
  • The goods/services provided
  • That there was a demand made and full particulars of the debt were furnished
  • That the debtor failed to pay
  • And the interest and costs which is being claimed.

Notice of Intention to Defend

If a Notice of Intention to Defend is filed then a hearing date for the case will be given by the District Court on the 1st occasion it comes before the Court.

If no Notice of Intention to Defend is filed you will be able to lodge the appropriate papers in the District Court office and obtain a Judgment against the person who owes the money.

Learn more about the Civil Summons procedure..

debt-collection-ireland

Circuit Court Debt collection

The Circuit Court deals with debts of €6,349 to €38,092.14 and involves the Civil Bill procedure.

High Court Debt collection

The High Court has unlimited jurisdiction to deal with debts and the procedure is the High Court Summary Summons procedure and may involve the Master of the High Court and the High Court itself.

Debt collection generally

The procedure used in trying to collect a debt, from issuing your demand letter in the first instance all the way through to enforcement proceedings,  is critically important as a mistake in any step of the procedure can set you back critically or failing to recover anything.

For this reason you may wish to instruct debt collection solicitors to handle the matter for you.

Once you have obtained a Judgment in respect of your debt you will need to attempt to enforce your Judgment. Enforcement procedures can range from obtaining an Instalment Order in the District Court to registering a Judgment mortgage against property of your debtor.

Learn more about District Court enforcement procedures..

By Terry Gorry Google+

Process serving in Ireland for litigants in non EU countries is provided for by the Hague Convention.

There are a number of procedures laid down but the safest and surest method to ensure effective service which will stand up to challenge is to instruct a solicitor in Ireland to act on your behalf.

process-serving-ireland

Whilst the cost of doing so may be off putting in the first instance it will, to your client, look like money very well spent if you avoid a challenge to your service when you go to your local Court seeking a Judgment or Court Order.

Service of process for non EU countries

The service of foreign process in Ireland for documents originating in non-EU countries must be carried out under the procedure laid down in the Hague Convention of 1965 which dealt with the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in Civil or Criminal matters abroad.

Please note this Hague Convention only applies to signatories of the Hague convention and non EU countries; service between EU countries is covered by the Brussels I regulation, the Brussels convention or the Lugano convention.

So the procedure discussed here would apply if you were an American or Australian company or bank for example seeking to have documents served in Ireland on an Irish defendant.

The Hague convention rules which cover this area were given effect in the Rules of the Superior Courts in Ireland under statutory instrument 101/1994.

These rules deem the Master of the High Court to be the Central Authority in Ireland.

The procedure involves you as a judicial officer in, say, the United States filling out a form which is annexed to the Hague Convention which is called a Request form.

process-serving-dublin

You can access the request form here and learn more about the Hague Convention service section here.

(Do note that if the request is not a Hague convention request and is not in English then the request and documents will have to be translated into one of the two official languages of the Irish State-English or Irish-and two copies of all documents will have to be provided)

The Hague Convention  form is in fact in 3 parts-Request, Certificate and Summary.

If the request is a Hague Convention request from a Convention country then the Request form is left in with the Central Office of the High Court and if the Central Authority is satisfied that the Request is in conformance with the Hague Convention then the Central Authority generally directs service in the manner requested by the applicant unless this method is incompatible with the laws of Ireland or is not in compliance with the practice and procedure of the High Court.

If the Central Authority is not satisfied with the Request it can set out it’s objections to allow the applicant rectify the matter.

If there is no specific method of service requested by the applicant the Central Authority will direct personal service on the Defendant. If this is the case the Central Authority may direct service by the Chief Solicitor’s office.

Service is then carried out by delivery and leaving with the Defendant one copy of the documents to be served and any translation if appropriate.

Once service is then effected by the process server he/she returns to the Central Authority with one copy of the process and an Affidavit setting out how service was carried out.

This affidavit sets out how service was effected.

(The Central Authority may stipulated a time period within which service was to be effected)

If and when the Central Authority is satisfied with service it will issue a certificate to this effect which will be your proof of service under the procedure laid down in the Hague Convention-this Certificate is part 2 of the Request form which you can access above.

Process servers in Ireland

We provide process serving services for a growing number of international clients.

Our membership of the Law Society of Ireland, understanding of the laws applicable in Ireland and the Rules of the Superior Courts, ensures that our clients receive a professional service from start to finish.

Please use the Contact page to request a quotation or email Terry Gorry Solicitor directly at terry@businessandlegal.ie (Terry Gorry Solicitor)

Avoid This Common and Costly Mistake When Looking for a Process Server in Ireland

By Terry Gorry Google+

Family law is different from other areas of law.

Most areas of law are concerned with what happened in the past and Courts are left with the task of making judgments in relation to what has already occurred.

family-law-solicitor-dublin

However family law places an onerous obligation on family law Judges and Courts and family law solicitors to make decisions based on current and future behaviour of the parties and the responsibilities and needs of the parties concerned including children of the parties. Family law solicitors need therefore to advise their clients and be mindful of not just the legal remedies open to their client but also to non legal solutions such as

  • mediation
  • negotiated agreement between the parties through their solicitors and
  • reconciliation.

In fact family law solicitors have a legal duty to advise their clients of non legal solutions to their difficulties in the first instance rather than initiating legal proceedings immediately.

Negotiated agreements, such as separation agreements, may be appropriate in many situations and will generally be a cheaper alternative to issuing legal proceedings and attempting to resolve difficulties through the Courts.

family-law-solicitors-dublin

Agreements between the parties can also be drawn up in respect of

  • maintenance
  • access
  • custody
  • guardianship

and if agreement is reached the agreement can be ruled by the family law Court, that is to say, the Court will make a Court Order in terms of the agreement reached between the parties.

The Family Mediation service, which is a free service for separating couples, should also be used to attempt in the provision of free mediation services by trained counselors/mediators.

Family law client care

A good family law solicitor will ensure to

  • keep you informed throughout the process
  • speak to you in a language you understand with the minimum of legal jargon and an awareness that your family law problem may well be your first encounter with the legal system in Ireland
  • support you on the day that your case comes before family law Court
  • explain in easy to understand language what has occurred and the implications of whatever Court Order has been made.

Good family law solicitors recognise that family law problems can cause a huge degree of stress and upset for people and should be aware of this at all times.

It is important to recognise that good family law solicitors will be supportive and helpful to you on a personal level but they are also legal professionals who have a professional obligation to you as client and in their dealings with colleagues acting for the other party and will advise you as to what is possible and impossible in your particular case.

Children in family law cases

Children should be a prime consideration in family law cases and the best interests of the child(ren) should always be paramount in family law disputes.

As stated at the outset, family law is different because unlike, say litigation or criminal law or business law, it is not a “winner takes all attitude” that will provide the best outcome for all parties concerned. (If you need assistance with any of the issues raised in this article don’t hesitate to contact Solicitors Dublin through our Contact Us page)

By Terry Gorry Google+

Domain names, which are intellectual property just like trade marks and other forms of intellectual property, have seen an increase in disputes in the last few years.

domain-names-law

 

Terms like ccTLD (country code top level domain such as .ie, .co.uk and .fr) and gTLD(generic top level domain such as .com, .net and .org) can be confusing to the small business owner who simply wants to get his business up on the internet and market his/her business to the world via the internet.

Hopefully what follows will help clear up some of the confusion as to what to watch out for in the whole area of domain name registration, domain name disputes and the value of doing a domain name search prior to registration.

 

However domain name disputes are becoming an increasing problem for business with the proliferation of website, eCommerce and new businesses going online and trading on the internet.

 

And infringements occur regularly in the shape of trade mark disputes, cybersquatting and related issues.domain-name-law

 

It is crucial for any business to have a smart commercial strategy regarding their trade marks and domain names.

 

Domain names can usually be registered quickly and inexpensively. Top Level Domain(TLD) is the suffix such as ie or uk or fr-it denotes the country.

 

 

Within TLDs there are 2 sub-categories

 

1. Generic TLDs (gTLD) such as .com,.net,.org,.biz. These domain names do not have to be distinctive and do not indicate geographic origin.

 

2. Country Code TLDs (ccTLD) which are administered by the domain registry of the relevant country; in Ireland this is IE Domain Registry ltd (www.iedr.ie).

 

In Ireland you must display a real and substantive connection with Ireland when applying for a domain name before iedr will approve your application. You may also need to show a connection with the business that you are referring to in your domain name application.(Check out IEDR.ie)

 

Domain name disputes

 

Domain name disputes have been resolved generally in one of 2 ways-either in court or by reference to the alternative dispute resolution procedure provided by ICANN.

 

This body has adopted the UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) which apples to generic TLD name disputes.

 

Some country code administrators have incorporated this procedure into their registration agreements.

 

This UDRP procedure has been very successful and has resolved many domain name disputes; however it does not provide for damages and so a company that needs immediate injunctive relief and damages will be advised to head for court rather than the UDRP procedure.

 

Generally the relief provided is simply to have the domain name transferred to the plaintiff.

 

To win relief at the UDRP you will need to show 3 things

 

1. the complainant must show that the name is confusingly similar to the name in which the complainant has rights

2. the existing holder has no legitimate interest or rights in the domain name

3. the complainant must show bad faith on the part of the holder of the domain name.

 

The holder of the domain name can reject the complainant’s case if he could show bona fide use of the name, non commercial use with no intention to profit, evidence that the respondent is known by the domain name.

 

UDRP also recognise the phenomenon of ‘Reverse Domain Name Hijacking’ which is the occasion when the plaintiff uses the policy in bad faith in an attempt to deprive a registered holder of a domain name of that name.

 

In ccTLD disputes the domain name registry require further proofs before they cancel or transfer a domain name.

 

They would need to see some aspect of passing off or trade mark infringement also.

domain-name-disputes

These disputes can be litigated before the appropriate courts as occurred in Jan. 2009 when Sean Dunne, Property Developer went to court in a dispute to obtain D4Hotels.com from John Brennan who had registered the domain name in his own name whilst running D4 hotels group in Ballsbridge.

 

The IEDR introduced a dispute resolution procedure in 2003 in respect of .ie disputes which you can learn more about on their website.

Conclusion

It is clearly impossible to register all domain names and trade marks which they may feel they need to protect their intellectual property.

 

Sometimes it is more cost effective to purchase the name from the ‘offender’ rather than go to court or UDRP.

 

It is important to recognise the difference between trade marks and domain names and it is prudent for a company to register each of their domain names as a trade mark.

 

Because otherwise their domain name could be registered as a trade mark by a 3rd party.

By Terry Gorry Google+

Many people have correctly criticized the level of solicitors fees in Dublin..stories of exorbitant legal bills and fees fill the airwaves from time to time with animated discussions on RTE radio and TV.

The new legal services bill introduced by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter seeks to address some of these criticisms.

The video below however will demonstrate the dangers of not instructing a solicitor, even for what appears to be a minor matter, though and will show you why instructing a solicitor can have huge long term benefits for you and your career, travel prospects and so on.

By Terry Gorry Google+

You may need the services of a summons server in Dublin if you are seeking to have a UK judgment recognised and enforced in Ireland.

summons-server-dublin

If you have secured a judgment in the UK in respect of a debt but find that your debtor is now living in Ireland, how do you enforce your debt?

Article 33 of the Brussels I regulation stipulates that any judgment obtained in a member state will be recognised in other member states without any special procedure required.

 

But how do you enforce your UK judgment in Ireland?

 

Order 42A of the Rules of the Superior Courts in Ireland provides the procedure which involves making an application to the Master of the High Court in the first instance.

 

 

This is an ex parte application (only one party required, there is no need to serve any papers on the debtor at this stage). Your application needs to be supported by an affidavit which shows

  1. Your UK judgment,
  2. If the judgment in the UK was obtained by default you will need to demonstrate that the debtor was properly served in the UK with the legal proceedings in the first place,
  3. Documents that show that the judgment obtained in the UK is enforceable and has been served,
  4. An Annex V certificate which will be provided by Court officials in the UK.

summons-servers-dublin

There are a number of other averments or statements which will need to be in your affidavit including an address in Ireland for the service of documents on the party making the application and the grounds on which the right to enforce the judgment is vested in the party making the application.

 

Declaration of enforceability

Provided your papers are in order and your application is successful then the Master of the High Court will declare your UK judgement enforceable immediately.

 

Once this declaration of enforceability is granted it affords the same power to the UK judgment as if it was a judgment made in the High Court in Ireland.

 

This declaration of enforceability then needs to be served on the debtor along with the Judgment and a Notice of Enforcement.

 

At this stage the debtor has a period of time within which to appeal the Master’s order which can range from 1 month to 2 months.

 

Only after this period has expired will the Execution Order in respect of your Judgment issue.

Circumstances where UK Judgment not recognised

A UK or EU judgment will not be recognised in Ireland in only a narrow range of circumstances with the most common situation being where the original proceedings were not correctly served on the debtor.

 

The Master of the High Court is generally anxious to ensure that

  1. The original proceedings/writ were served on the creditor
  2. Notice of the judgment was served on the creditor.

 

Should you need any assistance in Ireland with having your UK judgment recognised and enforced or if you need to serve proceedings or other judicial papers on persons in Ireland please use the Contact Us form for a quotation as we carry out quite a lot of this type of work for UK solicitors. (Check out Dublin solicitors also)

By Terry Gorry Google+

The Status of Children Act, 1987 makes provision for declarations of parentage.

This will involve an application to the Circuit Court that a person is his/her mother or father, even where the parent is dead.

declarations-of-parentage

The Status of Children Act, 1987 also provides for blood tests including DNA testing, where parentage is in dispute, to be carried out. The Court can make this order of it’s own volition or a party to the legal proceedings can apply to the Court for such an order. These tests are not funded by the public health system nor the Courts so the cost of the tests will have to be paid by one or both parties or whoever the Court directs to bear the cost.

Presumptions of paternity

The Status of Children Act, 1987 provides a presumption of paternity where a couple is married and presumes that the husband is the father of the child. Like all legal presumptions, this can be rebutted by evidence on the balance of probabilities.

status of children act

Unmarried parents

In an unmarried parents situation there is no presumption in law as to the father of the child, unless the man has been named on the birth certificate as the father.

Fathers who acknowledge paternity can have their names added to the birth certificate. If a father is not named on the birth certificate then he may have to prove paternity to the Court if he wishes to apply for access, guardianship or custody.

The Status of Children Act, 1987 amends the Births and Deaths Registration (Ireland) Act, 1880 to allow the insertion of the natural father’s name on the child’s birth certificate

  • If both parents agree or
  • If there is a Court order naming him as the father.

However where a child is born to a mother who is married, and the husband is not the father, the required statutory declaration will be different as it will require a statement from the husband that he is not the father or a statement from the mother that she had been living apart from the husband for ten months prior to the birth or a Court order naming the father.

If you are looking for solicitors in Dublin please use the contact form on this site.

By Terry Gorry Google+

New rules, the District Court (Enforcement of Court Orders) Rules 2010, came into effect in April, 2010 and deal with the enforcement of Court orders and Judgments.

district-court-debt-collection

Assuming you have obtained a judgment against a debtor in the District Court or you have had a judgment or Court order given against you for a debt- what happens next?

How it the judgment enforced?

District Court (Enforcement of Court Orders) Rules 2010

The solicitor for the creditor will issue a summons for the attendance of the debtor and if served by hand must be served at least 14 days before the Court date; if served by registered post it must be served 21 days before the hearing date.

The summons will have attached to it a Statement of Means which must be filled out by the debtor and lodged in the District Court office at least 1 week before hearing.

The solicitor for the creditor will need to lodge

1. The original Decree

2. An affidavit of residency confirming that the debtor lives where the summons has been served

3. A certificate of amount due.

It is up to the Judge then to decide how much the debtor should be paying based on the statement of means and will make an order called an Instalment Order requiring the debtor to pay a fixed amount monthly or weekly.

This instalment order must then be served on the debtor and will remain in force for 12 years from the date that Judgment was granted.

If the instalment order is not complied with the creditor can issue a Summons for Failure to Comply with An Instalment order.

This next appearance in Court by the Debtor may lead the Judge to granting a Committal order committing the debtor to prison.

However since the Caroline McCann/Monaghan Credit Union case it is much more difficult to commit a debtor to prison and the Court must be satisfied that the Debtor will not pay as opposed to being unable to pay.

dublin-district-court

Judgment mortgage

You can, as the creditor, also register a Judgment mortgage on the debtor’s property, if he is the registered owner. The power of sale of the property though on foot of a judgment mortgage can only be exercised through the courts.

Should you need any assistance arising from this article and need a solicitor feel free to contact Solicitors Dublin.

Here is a link to the legislation: District Court (Enforcement of Court Orders) Rules, 2010

By Terry Gorry Google+
0

Seeking guardianship by the father of a child in a non-marital situation is a common application before the District Court in Dolphin House, Dublin 2.

guardianship-family-law

The reason is simple: under the existing law the father of a child in a non-marital relationship is not automatically a guardian of the child, although the mother is.

The father of the child is only automatically a guardian where

  1. He was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth or
  2. If the parties marry after the birth of the child.

What does guardianship mean?

Guardianship is concerned with the overall care of the child in a global sense and will involve having a say as to

  • Permission of the child to marry
  • Passport forms
  • The general upbringing of the child
  • The child’s medical care
  • The child’s education
  • Acting on behalf of the child in legal proceedings
  • Custody of the child
  • Any property of the child until the child reaches the age of 18.

The natural father, thanks to the Status of Children Act 1987 (section 12), can now apply to the District Court under section 6A of the Guardianship of Infants act 1964 to be appointed a guardian of the child by the Court.

guardianship-family-law1

The first and paramount consideration of the Court in considering such an application will be the welfare of the child (sect. 3 Guardianship of Infants Act 1964).

Guardianship by consent

However where the mother of the child consents there is a procedure under Section 2(4) of the Guardianship of Infants act 1964 where both parties can swear a statutory declaration agreeing for the father to become a joint guardian.

This will not involve a court appearance and can be carried out by the parties themselves by filling out the appropriate form under the Act and can be done regardless of the living arrangements of the parties-that is, they do not have to be living together. (If the father is not registered on the birth certificate then it is likely that the declaration will be rejected by the Registrar pending his registration as father on the register maintained under the Civil Registration Act 2004.

However despite the relative ease with which you can carry out this declaration procedure you should always seek legal advice before signing one.

If you have any questions arising from the above do not hesitate to contact us. You might also be interested in family law solicitors Dublin.

By Terry Gorry Google+

In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
member-of-the-law-society