No Win No Fee And Advertising In Ireland For Solicitors
Solicitors, contrary to other professionals, are limited in marketing by their governing bodies.
The tenets of the Bar Council restrict barristers, while the regulations on solicitors use of marketing is set by the Law Society which is more liberal.
A minimum of one reason would be enough to prevent advertisements such as the following: in a television advertisement, Dallas-based attorney Brian Loncar calls himself “the strong arm” and motivates prospective customers to call 1-800-No-Win-No-Fee. So phone himself now, and I will get them a successful payout.”
But in this instance, do the regulators value the dignity of the field over the consumer’s very best interests?
It was discovered that competition was “seriously hampered by many unnecessary limitations” and that those limitations ought to be removed “so that consumers may gain from greater competition in legal services” such as the ability to call on a No Win No Fee solicitor if they so desire in Ireland.
Some say that the legal authorities “have presided over limitations on competition that might have advantages for attorneys, by sheltering them from competition, but which hurt consumers. The total effect of the myriad of limitations on competition in legal services has been to restrict accessibility, selection and great value for money “for consumers” such as the banning of advertising by No Win No Fee Solicitors.
A recent report mentioned the “close blanket-prohibition on marketing by barristers and some unnecessary limitations on solicitor marketing”.
The rules where altered regarding marketing for barristers in May 2008 after the authorities took some heed of the report. Amongst other things Barristers may now advertise by putting specific information about them on the web site of the Bar Council.
With regard to additional changes, the legal authorities will not consider rivalry would rise among barristers, as barristers are often obtained through a solicitor as opposed to by members of the general public.
But if there is an individual entitled to bring a claim, should she or he not bring one?
There are a number of other constraints in place restricting the style and content of the ads while solicitors aren’t barred from marketing.
Some legal minds call the management of solicitor marketing “an essentially liberal regime with a single quirk”. The quirk: advertisements seen to boost and support the bringing of claims for personal injury damages.
It is limited to defend the public interest.
The solicitor marketing regulations will likely bring the profession into disrepute or expressly prohibit advertisements which are in poor taste, plus it seriously restricts marketing for personal injury damages.
The location of ads is additionally controlled; solicitors cannot advertise, in the rear of next to death notices or on buses. Of this kind of limitation, it had been noted there had been one criticism about an advertisement for probate services in a funeral home and on the roof of an ambulance.
Advertisements cannot comprise of images or cartoons, striking or emotive words and can’t refer to calamitous occasions, like bus or train crashes. Solicitors cannot advertise their readiness to make hospital or home visits.
Ambulance chasing is also included:
For solicitors, these problem impacts solo professionals and small partnerships rather than the big companies, which wouldn’t really have to advertise?
Solo professionals and small partnerships, those just starting out and without an established standing, would garner the most advantage from having the capability to advertise.
One solicitor who lately set up his own solo practice said: “You need competition in the supply of legal services. One method to stimulate competition is through ads. The body who regulates’ ads has always been really conservative. Whether they are not overly liberal depends on your own perspective of the free market. I basically won’t advertise in any way.
“The authorities do not enjoy the possibility of ambulance chasing. They would prefer that the integrity of the field to be preserved.
“But if we are referring to solicitors as companies, then they’re likely unduly controlled.” he added.
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