Amorys Business Continuity Plan – Covid-19 Pandemic

The Irish Government has introduced unprecedented measures in order to protect the safety of our population amid the current outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19.  Within these measures, the government has advised that individuals where possible should work from home.

With this advice in mind, we have implemented our business continuity plans to ensure we can continue to provide a full service for our clients.  The safety and wellbeing of all our staff, clients, contacts and other third parties, is our main priority.

Our Amorys team remains committed to our clients and to the delivery of a first-class legal service.  While our office is currently closed we will continue to provide our services remotely.

As a service-focused firm, we have the systems and flexibility to continue to meet your legal requirements especially in challenging times like these.

We will continue to operate our office line on 01-2135940.  If you have any queries or concerns, please call or email your contact solicitor directly:

sharon@amoryssolicitors.com

brian@amoryssolicitors.com

deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com

daragh@amoryssolicitors.com

wendy@amoryssolicitors.com

rachel@amoryssolicitors.com

patricia@amoryssolicitors.com

As always, our team are available to support you and your business.

Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Amorys Business Continuity Plan – Covid-19 Pandemic”, please contact Daragh Burke, Amorys Solicitors daragh@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

The Mediation Act 2017 and Litigation in Ireland

Many of the provisions of the Mediation Act 2017 (“the Act”) which became effective on 1st January 2018, placed already existing practices in relation to mediation on a statutory footing. However, the Act’s statutory promotion of mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings is no doubt a welcome introduction for litigants in Ireland.

Whilst before the Mediation Act 2017 came into force it was the practice of many if not most solicitors and barristers to advise clients of the benefits and mechanics of mediation as an alternative to court proceedings, there is now a statutory obligation on them to do so. Under the Mediation Act 2017, the High Court now has the power to stay or halt proceedings where a solicitor has not confirmed to the Court by way of a certificate that the Plaintiff has been advised of mediation in the terms prescribed by section 14 of the Act. The Act, as it currently stands, does not require solicitors acting on behalf of defendants to file a similar statutory declaration although they will no doubt advise their clients of the benefits of mediation in practice given the risks of the making of adverse costs orders outlined below.

It has always been open to a Court to consider a party’s conduct in litigation (in particular in relation to mediation) when making costs orders (order 99 of the Rules of the Superior Courts) too but the Act further highlights judicial scrutiny in this area. There is arguably therefore additional risk for a defendant that s/he could be held liable in full or in part for a plaintiff’s costs of litigation, should it decline mediation. Section 21 of the Mediation Act 2017 further strengthens “judicial discretion” to take into account “any unreasonable refusal or failure” of a party to consider or attend mediation when awarding costs at the conclusion of court proceedings. This is no doubt a welcome introduction for litigants who may not have sufficient resources for lengthy and protracted court proceedings.

There is no statutory obligation on parties to agree to mediation but if parties to a dispute do so, the Act provides that a ‘Mediation Agreement’ is to be signed by both parties specifically dealing with the appointment of a mediator, payment of his/her costs, the place and time of the mediation and the way in which it is to be conducted and explicitly acknowledging that the mediation and all reports, notes and records resulting therefrom are confidential and cannot be used in court proceedings. The benefit of the Mediation Agreement is that it provides certainty for the parties thereto and a clear timeline for the way in which their dispute will be dealt with. The confidentiality requirement can also be attractive for many commercial and family law litigants.

The Act further codifies the role of a mediator and provides for the introduction of Codes of Practice for the conduct of mediation by qualified mediators. A mediator who subscribes to a particular code of conduct must provide a copy of the code to each party involved in the mediation.  At present there are no codes of conduct prescribed for mediators in Ireland and mediators are unregulated here.  The Law Society of Ireland recommended in its Submissions at the Committee Stage of the bill that the Act would go further than it has in this regard but the opportunity was not seised at that stage.

A Mediation Agreement, when signed by all parties to a dispute has the effect of stopping the time within which to bring court proceedings under the Statute of Limitations Act until 30 days after the mediation process has terminated. This will be a welcome introduction for litigants some of whom who prior to the introduction of the Act, submitted to mediation at a stage when due to time constraints, it was necessary to issue court proceedings in tandem with the mediation process resulting in two ‘sets of costs’ for both parties.  The suspension of the statute of limitations during the mediation process is therefore extremely beneficial for parties to a dispute.

The new provisions in the Act requiring parties to consider mediation should be helpful in removing what may be seen as an obstacle to mediation or negotiation in practice. There can be occasions where parties do not want to propose mediation or negotiation as it may be misinterpreted as a sign of weakness. This new statutory obligation on solicitors, including importantly in house solicitors, to inform clients of the mediation process and the requirement to consider it before issuing proceedings may make parties less concerned about this possibility and should offer a feasible and cost-effective alternative to court proceedings.

The Mediation Bill 2017 was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas and enacted on October 2 2017. On December 13 2017 the Minister for Justice and Equality signed the Commencement Order of the Mediation Act 2017 and all sections were commenced as of January 1 2018.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “The Mediation Act 2017”, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

***Competition*** Win 2 tickets to Mario Rosenstock at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

***Competition***

Win Tickets to Mario Rosenstock

We have two sets of 2 tickets to Mario Rosenstock, “In Your Face!” at The Gaiety Theatre this Saturday night, 26th May 2018 to give to two of our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn followers. To be in with a chance of winning, like and/or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and send your answer to the below question to info@amoryssolicitors.com.

What word is missing from the following sentence?

Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm with expertise in property, employment, company & corporate law, family law and personal injury litigation.

Our Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/AmorysSolrs

Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmorysSolicitors/

Our LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/amorys-solicitors/

Our website : https://amoryssolicitors.com

The winners will be chosen at random and announced on Facebook at 9 am this Thursday,24th May 2018.

*Please note there must be a minimum of 14 entrants for this competition to run.

The personal information that you provide us in this competition will be used solely for the purposes of choosing winners at random.  At the end of the competition, you will be provided with an option to have your information erased completely or to join our mailing list for our quarterly newsletter.  Further detail as to how we treat personal data received from third parties through our website is set out in our data protection and privacy statement.

Best of luck!*

Amorys Competition 2 tickets to Mario Rosenstock Dublin

Sharon Scally named Sole Principal of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2018

Sharon Scally has been named Dublin Sole Principal of the Year at the annual Irish Law Awards.

Over 90 firms, practitioners and in-house teams attended last Friday’s ceremony which was opened by Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan and hosted by RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan.

Now in its seventh year, the awards recognise excellence and achievement in the Irish legal industry and profession throughout Ireland.

Commenting on the awards Sharon Scally said: “Winning Dublin Sole Principal of the Year was very much a team effort.  We are thrilled for the recognition that this award represents in the Dublin legal community.  I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our team and the support of our clients and friends.  We will continue to ensure our clients receive the best legal advice and guidance available.” 

Katherine O’Riordan, Event Director said, “The Irish Law Awards has become a huge success over the past 6 years. The event has grown exponentially and this year we are delighted to have the support of Clinch Wealth Management in recognizing excellence within the legal sector. The standard this year was exceptionally high.”

Amorys was shortlisted in three other categories: Employment Law Firm of the Year; Excellence in Client Service; and Dublin Family Law Firm of the Year. Wendy O’Brien, legal executive was also shortlisted as a finalist for Legal Executive of the Year.

Sharon Scally and a small number of local ratepayers in Sandyford were instrumental in establishing a Business Improvement District scheme within the Sandyford Business District in 2017. Sharon Scally is the current chairperson of Sandyford BID CLG which has as its aims to strengthen and promote ties within the local business community, improve infrastructure and promote the Sandyford Business District as the premier destination in Ireland for talent and investment.

The Awards reception and proceedings were held at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4 and charity partners for 2018 include the Solicitors’ Benevolent Association, The Barristers’ Benevolent Society and the Peter McVerry Trust.  Further information about the awards and other winners are available at www.irishlawawards.ie .

Sharon Scally Winner at the Irish Law Awards 2018

Amorys Solicitors Team - Winner at the Irish Law Awards 2018

Photographer Paul Sherwood paul@sherwood.ie; 087 230 9096 www.sherwood.ie
Clinch Wealth Management Irish Law Awards, Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. May 2018.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Sharon Scally named Sole Principal of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2018”, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

What To Bring To Your First Meeting With Your Solicitor

EMPLOYMENT LAW

CLAIMS FOR UNFAIR DISMISSAL OR REDUNDANCY

WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR FIRST MEETING WITH YOUR SOLICITOR

Employees who have been dismissed may require legal advice as to whether or not grounds exist to support a claim against their previous employer under unfair dismissal, equality or legislation applicable to their circumstances.

It is important for a claimant to decide whether or not to make a claim against his/her employer at an early stage.  Aside from the time and emotional investment of making such a claim, there are strict time limits within which such claims must be made (usually 6 months).  In order to get the most out of your meeting and for your solicitor to advise you fully, s/he will need to know the full circumstances surrounding the termination of your employment and will need copies of all relevant documentation.

Whilst every case is different, generally speaking, your solicitor will need the following documents to advise you as to whether or not you have a claim:

  1. A brief summary of the history of your employment, including a list of individuals involved and a note of their role within the organisation;
  1. Your original employment contract and any contracts amending same;
  1. Most recent employment law handbook is given to employees;
  1. Your employer’s disciplinary procedure (if not included at No. 2 above);
  1. A copy of all warning letters, reports and findings of investigations;
  1. Copies of all company policies;
  1. If your claim relates to bullying and harassment, copies of all relevant emails; reports/findings from the investigation;
  1. If you suffered a physical injury from any event, copies of all sick notes, medical reports and x-rays.

If you have a soft copy of the documents, we would suggest that you forward them to your solicitor by email in advance of the meeting so that s/he can be fully prepared.

It is important to note it often happens that employees do not have all of the above documents at the time of an initial consultation but that they require legal advice urgently due to the time limits involved.  In such circumstances, if your solicitor is of the view from what you say that you do, in fact, have a claim, s/he could assist you in filing a complaint form in the Workplace Relations Commission to ‘stop the time’ from running which would give you time to obtain all relevant documents.  It is always open to a claimant to withdraw his/her claim prior to a hearing at no risk of having to pay the employer’s legal costs.

Amorys Solicitors has more than 30 years’ experience practising the employment law and successfully represented the plaintiff in the seminal case of McGrath-V-Trintech which established the right in the common law of an ex-employee to claim damages from an employer for psychiatric harm suffered due to stress at work.

If you would like to arrange an initial consultation to discuss whether or not grounds exist for a claim against your employer under unfair dismissal or equality legislation, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.

Legal Speak

LEGAL SPEAK

“FLOATING CHARGE

Does not involve water, cavalry advances or sea horses.  It is a type of mortgage which does not attach to any specific property until the happening of a certain condition or event.   At that stage, the charge is said to “crystallise”.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Literally means let the buyer beware.  A purchaser must look after his own best interests and satisfy himself that he is getting everything he expects.

“A TRUST

Exists when somebody who has legal title to or controls property is obliged to deal with it for the benefit of other person(s).  It has nothing to do with whether or not the person is honest or credible.

BRIEFS

Have nothing to do with items of personal clothing.  A brief comprises written instructions from a solicitor to a barrister retaining him/her to act in legal proceedings. They can however be rather voluminous.

A CIVIL BILL

Institutes legal proceedings in the Circuit Court in an equivalent way to a High Court Summons.  It does not therefore refer to a polite demand for money.

STATUS QUO ANTE

Has nothing to do with a relative of members of a famous rock band – it simply means “the same state as before”.  Think “undo” on your keyboard.

FEE SIMPLE

Isn’t a straightforward solicitor’s invoice; it is in fact the most extensive freehold title which can be owned in land.  It can be contrasted with a leasehold title whereby land is owned only for a specified period, usually a number of years

AN ASSURANCE

Is not a pat on the back but a document or deed transferring land.

A PARTY

Does not involve loud music, alcohol and lots of fun but is rather someone who takes part in a legal transaction or deed or sues or is sued.

“A THIRD PARTY”:                          

This is not yet another venue to head to on a Friday night – simply another person or entity involved in an incident, transaction or litigation.

EXECUTION

Does not refer to the death penalty but rather to the signing and sealing of a deed or the carrying into effect of a court judgment.

AN INTEREST IN LAND

Is not a fascination with sods of turf but is in fact a broad term used to describe types of ownership of land.

A SATISFACTION PIECE

Is a document to show that a debt has been paid and not a bit of a “Snickers” bar.

EASEMENTS

Do not make life any easier for your solicitor.  It is in fact a generic term for rights such as rights of way, fishing rights, etc.

IN CAMERA

A confusing term which refers to court cases heard in private (yes, no cameras), usually involving family law or sensitive state secrets and has nothing to do with the film industry.

TIME IMMEMORIAL

Is 1189 AD as fixed by the Statue of Westminster 1275, being the first year in the reign of Richard I.  You can remember that one for the next pub quiz.

“TUPE

(pronounced “to-pay”) – not an ill-fitting hairpiece – rather it is the acronym for the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employees regulations introduced by the EC in 2003.

DATA ROOM

Does not necessarily mean a room packed full of files and records relating to a company.  Physical data rooms used to be common in the due diligence process but have now been largely replaced by virtual data rooms.  This renders the due diligence process during a merger/acquisition transaction, loan syndication transaction or private equity/venture capital transaction to be carried out in a much more structured and cost efficient way.  Secure virtual data rooms are provided by third party commercial providers.

GOODWILL

In commercial terms does not mean being friendly, nice, helpful, benevolent or compassionate towards a fellow human.  In commercial law terms, the expression refers to the established reputation of a business which is regarded as a quantifiable asset and can be extremely valuable to the owner of the business.

“RACHET”                                         

Not to be confused with the misspelling of the instrument used in the game of tennis.  It is a term used in the world of corporate finance where a rachet clause can provide that the rights of the involved parties are adjusted according to a pre-agreed formula upon completion of a transaction or at various stages provided for in a contract.

D.I.R.T.

No cleaning required.  The acronym stands for Deposit Interest Retention Tax which is charged on all interest payments by financial service providers such as banks.  It is currently charged at the rate of 39% of all such payments and it is paid directly to the Irish Revenue.

RECEIVER

Has nothing to do with the apparatus formerly known as the telephone.  A receiver is in fact a person usually appointed by a secured creditor (e.g. a bank) to run a company for a short period of time.  A receiver’s function is to liquidate all assets the subject of the security and pay as much debt as possible back to the secured creditor.  A receiver can also be appointed over the assets of an individual in certain circumstances.

SICAF

No need to call in the vet! This has nothing to do with a bovine illness.  It is in fact a type of investment fund structure along with a SICAV used principally in Luxembourg but also found in many other western European countries.  The acronym derives from the French –  “Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable” and the “Société d’Investissement á Capital Fixe”.  These investment funds do not have an independent legal personality  The Irish Government has now introduced the ICAV under the Irish Collective Asset – Management Vehicles Act, 2015.  It is a specially designed vehicle for Irish investment funds.  Unlike the SICAV or the SICAF, the ICAV has a specific statutory personality established under the 2015.

BOILERPLATE CLAUSES

Now we’re cooking!  These are the more general clauses inserted into a commercial contract which can be added to, deleted or amended as necessary to reflect the contract being drafted. The “operative” part of the agreement appears at the beginning of the document and is entirely specific to the agreement being drafted.  However, the boilerplate clauses should not be overlooked as they can contain important provisions.

(c) Sharon Scally, Amorys Solicitors 5th September 2017

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Legal Speak”, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

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