Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Farm transfer costs set to soar

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

FARM transfers are set to incur additional legal charges which could effectively double or treble the legal fees involved in transferring land.

New rules, voted in by the Law Society, require separate legal representation for each party to land transfers, and will lead to additional costs.


The rules, which are set to come into effect in January next year, have been described as outrageous and unnecessary by the ICMSA. The ban on solicitors acting on both sides in property deals was aimed at curbing conflicts of interest, cracking down on financial fraud and deterring elder abuse.

At present, law firms can act for both sides in property deals as long as there are measures in place to avoid conflicts of interest. But following a series of scandals involving solicitors who defrauded clients and banks, solicitors will be barred from acting on both sides of a property deal.

ICMSA president said the ban could result in farm transfer costs rising from their current level of approximately €3,500 to a new figure of "at least" €7,000 and possibly more if the farm is divided among a family.

"It is absolutely outrageous, unnecessary and a perfect example of the syndrome where professionals in Ireland were allowed set their own fees at the catastrophic expense of the economy and the public," said Mr Comer.

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