Transfer of sites to children and relations – stamp duty relief ends this year – an update on Irish legal matters from Kilkenny based solicitors

If you are thinking of transferring a site or land to a son or daughter, remember, if you do it before 31st December 2014,  your child can avail of consanguinity relief to the tune of reducing the stamp duty bill by 50%.

The savings might be enough for them to buy a new kitchen !!

– Holland Condon – solicitors based in Kilkenny

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Delays in Probate Office Dublin – a newsbriefing on Irish Legal issues from Holland Condon

On 15th September, 2014, the main Probate Office for Ireland, issued the following release =

“Current delays in the Dublin Probate Office

To enable Dublin Probate staff reduce the current 16 week waiting period for a grant of representation to issue in a deceased person’s estate, practitioners are requested to note that the Probate Officer is not in a position to consider applications for expedites from Monday 15th September to Monday 13th October 2014.”

It takes about 4/4.5 months to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Administration from the time we lodge all relevent documents with the Probate Office. There can be a lead in time of up to 4 months to gather all the necessary information.

Grants take about 3 weeks in UK compared to a minimum of 8 months here. What are we doing wrong ??

– a newsbriefing on Irish legal issues from Holland Condon

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UK conveyancing system moves closer to being all online – an update on legal matters from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The English Law Society announced on Friday 10th October, 2014 that a comprehensive new home conveyancing portal offering an efficient, secure and transparent way of managing the conveyancing process has entered the final stages of development and is scheduled to be launched to the conveyancing profession in Spring 2015.

The new online service, called Veyo, is a joint venture between The Law Society and Mastek UK, a global IT solutions specialist. It is designed to bring together all the processes, checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties.

In its first phase, the system will allow professionals to better communicate with each other, clients and other parties, satisfy due diligence obligations more quickly and facilitate the conveyance of residential property through established protocols. In doing so, it will not only speed up the house-buying process for consumers but enables greater efficiency for conveyancers.

Veyo will make conveyancing more efficient. All documentation for each transaction will be kept online, in one user-friendly system that will track activity and progress and issue automatic diary reminders of actions needing to be carried out.

Veyo will be secure. It will provide a clear audit trail of communications between all parties in the transaction, which will strengthen risk management and compliance, therefore reducing the risk of fraud. Its inbuilt CQS endorsed protocol tracks all workflows and its anti-money laundering and identity checks will ensure compliance with lenders’ requirements.

Veyo will be the smart way to service clients. It will provide customers with a secure area to upload and review documents, check progress and view the status of their entire housing chain. It also gives firms of all sizes access to a simple tool to facilitate the house buying process and, as such, will allow smaller firms to use a technically advanced platform only normally available to larger more technologically enabled firms, ensuring conveyancers as a profession maintain the highest of standards.

How Veyo will work

Conveyancers using the service will be presented with a dashboard that will show all active cases and their respective statuses. Each case will have a dedicated screen showing a detailed overview of each property transaction and the progress towards completion. A calendar will show scheduled tasks, key dates and reminders.  Other pages will provide users with an overview of all their transactions, plus messages and activity updates to help keep all cases on track.

Veyo’s online ‘deal room’ for each case will allow the two firms acting for the buyer and seller to collaborate and progress documents efficiently, with an automatic audit of all changes, with versions and approvals captured for each case. The ‘chain view’ for each transaction will show the exchange/completion status of each property in the chain online, and in detail, if firms on the other transactions have chosen to disclose them to the chain.

Veyo users will be able to verify individuals working for the other side of the transaction and they will have to be pre-qualified to be able to use the portal. It will also be possible to carry out anti-money laundering checks with Veyo. Land Registry applications will be available from the launch date, with the integration of searches and HMRC transactions within Veyo also planned for subsequent service releases after the initial launch.

Ireland really needs to take heed of this, and perhaps “piggy-back” on the UK version, implementing it or parts of it here.

– an update on legal matters from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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UK Solicitors Regulation Authority steps up its work on money laundering ; lessons for Ireland’s Law Society – a briefing on legal news from Kilkenny Lawyers Holland Condon

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the UK  is stepping up its efforts to ensure solicitors firms do not become embroiled in money laundering activity and are compliant with the various regulations and legislation associated with anti money laundering compliance.

The legal sector is one of a number of areas of work that attracts organised criminals seeking to launder the proceeds of crime. Solicitors have a duty under the Code of Conduct to ensure their business complies with anti-money laundering legislation and the Proceeds of Crime Act (in the UK).

The SRA has been undertaking a specific piece of focus work, which started on Monday 8 September,2014 until May 2015, working with firms to ensure robust systems are in place to guard against solicitors becoming involved in money laundering. This will include closer engagement with those firms identified as most at risk, and providing support and guidance across the whole of the profession from large firms to sole practitioners.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Law firms often handle large sums of money, and this means they attract those who seek to launder the proceeds of crime. We want to work with the profession to ensure that all firms, no matter how large or small, have the systems in place to guard against money laundering and that they are compliant with the current regulations and legislation.

“We will also be testing the systems used within firms to report money laundering, and how widely these systems are known within each firm.

“We also want to ensure solicitors are meeting their legal obligations to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities. The SRA will be taking a robust stance on anti money laundering compliance and will deal promptly with any firm that that transgresses the rules.

“Our work will focus initially on those firms deemed at highest risk, but all firms need to be aware of the issue. There will be serious consequences for those who fail to take their obligations seriously.”

The SRA will report their findings after the focus work is completed early next year. perhaps, we should be following suit here in this jurisdiction.

– a briefing on legal news from Kilkenny Lawyers Holland Condon

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UN Human Rights Committee review of Ireland – news on Irish legal matters from Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

The review of Ireland’s fourth periodic report on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) took place before the UN Human Rights Committee in July 2014 in Geneva.

The Committee’s ‘Concluding Observations’ on Ireland were published on 24th July, 2014 and the Committee’s main concerns were :-

  • reparations for abuses committed in the Magdalene Laundries,
  • the practice of symphysiotomy,
  • implementation of the Ryan report on child abuse,
  • corporal punishment,
  • easing restrictions for abortion,
  • women employment,
  • domestic violence,
  • asylum seekers,
  • the treatment of the Roma and Travellers minority groups,
  • the ‘right to counsel’. The Committee recommended that – “The State should guarantee in law and in practice, the right to counsel prior to interrogation, and take concrete steps to facilitate the presence of lawyers during interrogation”.

Visit for more information

– news on Irish legal matters from Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

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Kilkenny continues to be one of the lowest counties in Ireland for injury compensation claims – a legal newsbrief from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The Irish Injury Board’s mid-year review for 2014, issued on 15th September, 2014, cites Kilkenny as one of five counties with the lowest accident and injury claims per head of population !

Other interesting facts =
• During the first six months of 2014 the total compensation awarded to personal injury claimants by the Injuries Board increased by 22% to €144million, according to a mid-year analysis undertaken by the Board.
• The average award was €22,082, compared to the average award for the same period in 2013 of €22,349.
• Road traffic accidents continued to account for the majority of personal injury claims and represented over three quarters (75.6%) of awards. 17.2% of awards were for accidents in public places, 7.2% related to workplace accidents.
• Administrative costs to process awards has fallen to 6.7% compared to an average of 58% for cases dealt with through litigation.
• Awards were processed in an average time of 7 months in the period.
• Savings of €42.88m to the end of June 2014 were achieved
• Applications to the Injuries Board decreased year on year by 1% to 15,987.
• Longford, Limerick, Louth, Dublin and Clare are the five counties with the largest number of awards as a proportion of population.
• The five counties with the lowest number of awards per head of population are Kilkenny, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Mayo.

– a legal newsbrief from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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“No win no fee” in accident claims – what’s the catch ? – an opinion on irish legal matters from Holland Condon Solicitors

Generally, most of the personal injury cases we agree to accept are taken on a “no-win-no-fee-basis”.

“No win no fee” or “no foal no fee” means that we only get paid for our time working on your behalf if your case is successful or where you move to another solicitor or fail to accept a recommended offer from the other party.

So we put our money where our mouth is when we agree to accept your case: we’ll only do so if we really believe that it has a fairly good prospect of success after we’ve weighed up any potential risks and made you aware of them.

What better guarantee can you get than this. We want a successful outcome just as much as you ! If we’re working on a no-win-no-fee basis, we’re in it with you – if you go down then we do and if you succeed so do we.

– an opinion on irish legal matters from Holland Condon Solicitors

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I.C.S. Building society mortgages being dealt with by Bank of Ireland – news in the legal world from Kilkenny based solicitors Holland Condon

The government have sanctioned the transfer of ICS business to Bank of Ireland, per this official announcement issued in late August, 2014 =

We would like to advise you of the transfer of the business of ICS (the Transferor) to Bank of Ireland (the Transferee), pursuant to SI 257 of 2014 made by the Minister for Finance [Central Bank Act 1971 (Approval of Scheme of Transfer between ICS Building Society and The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland) Order, 2014)], to take effect on 1 September 2014, or such later date as may be agreed between the Transferor and the Transferee pursuant to the scheme.

– news in the legal world from Kilkenny based lsolicitors Holland Condon

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Is First Consultation Free in accident claims good enough ? – an opinion on aspects of Irish Legal practice by kilkenny law firm Holland Condon

I say “yes” it is ! We offer this to potential clients on the basis that we will recover the cost of the consultation through suing the responsible party; and, getting them to pay the majority of the costs of the case.

Some Solicitors try to put cold water on this in an attempt to show themselves in good light. I read one particular blog by a Cork based accident claim firm.

They said – “First of all, it’s too much too early.  It’s like proposing marriage when you first meet someone.  You don’t really know anything about them or whether you’re happy to work with them so why should you have to take time off work, get someone to mind the kids and travel to their office for a consultation in a strange environment to discuss some of your most personal affairs with someone you’ve never met before ? ”

My answer is that this is a load of poetical nonsense ! You want advice so why not get it for free ! You don’t have to travel to the solicitors firm, you can phone them. If you’re worried about revealing personal details to a certified professional solicitor, you can withhold names addresses etc. until you are sure you want to deal with that solicitor.

They also say – “One little consultation is hardly going to be enough to find out all about you and your case to be able to understand what it’s all about.  And, more importantly, one consultation may not be enough for you to find out all about them and how they work and to get answers to all of your questions.  What if it’s going to take more than one consultation?  Where will you stand then?  What kind of follow up can you expect?  Will you have to pay for it?”

My answer to this bull, is to say -who said it’s a “little consultation” ?  In our firm, we meet people, who feel they may be entitled to injury compensation, for as long as it takes to ascertain the chances of success with their case, and advise them on what next to do. Hopefully, they will come back to us and use our services, but, if not, they are armed with enough knowledge to take the next few steps.

The first consultation, whether or not its free, is about building up a trust that can only be done face to face and not by some online form filling. The same firm our suggesting their online assessment form with no face to face meeting is somehow the best ! hmmm, I wonder…….

Yes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s why I said at the start of this rant, we will get the cost of it through the litigation process.

Be wary of solicitors who “over-promote” their “qualities”.

– an opinion on aspects of Irish Legal practice by kilkenny law firm Holland Condon

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NPPR hefty penalty looming – an advice note on Irish Law by Holland Condon solicitors in Kilkenny

You have until 1st September, 2014 (only a few days left!!) to pay this tax on Irish residential property, after which stage the amount owed increases by €3,000 !

As of August 2014, the total owed on a liable property, if no payments have yet been made, is €4,220 but on September 1st 2014 that figure will increase to €7,230. It will be capped at that sum until 2025.

So what happens if you decide not to pay the NPPR?

Whether you’re someone, who was unaware of it because you live in another country, or you don’t believe in paying the tax as an anti-austerity person, or for whatever reason.The nature of the tax and penalty is that it’s a charge/mortgage that is fixed on a property until it is paid regardless of whether ownership has changed. The result is that the question of whether the charge is paid or not matters most when a property is being sold or mortgaged. Purchasers will be very reluctant to buy a property with unpaid NPPR outstanding and will usually insist that it is discharged before proceeding.

The same act which brought in the penalties repeals the charge completely on 31 March 2025 after which the charge will cease to exist and outstanding amounts can no longer be collected.

Residential owners need to review their situation, establish whether they may be liable for the charge, and if so, go about paying it before the 1st September and save €3,000 !

So, today, contact the Finance Department of the local authority in whose area the residential property is located.


– an advice note on Irish Law by Holland Condon solicitors in Kilkenny

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