Kevin Kilrane had sold Kevin P Kilrane & Co in Leitrim to solicitor John McNulty 16 years ago
A retired judge has said he is “very disappointed” with how his former legal firm has been run after the solicitor in charge was subject to a series of fines for misconduct and inadequate services.
Kevin Kilrane, who retired as a District Court judge last year, told the Sunday Independent he had been contacted by former clients from when he was a solicitor and who have complained about the allegedly poor service they have received from his former firm Kevin P Kilrane & Co in Mohill, Co Leitrim.
Mr Kilrane’s former practice, one of the biggest and best-known in Leitrim, was sold to solicitor John McNulty 16 years ago when Mr Kilrane was appointed to the bench.
In the last year McNulty has been fined thousands of euro after two findings of inadequate service to clients by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) were confirmed by the High Court. A Law Society Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal made a finding of misconduct against him. McNulty, practising under Kevin P Kilrane & Co, is on the Law Society’s roll of practising solicitors for 2023.
In the Law Society case last year, McNulty was ordered to pay €6,788 to the society’s compensation fund and €3,212 in costs after he was found guilty of misconduct for failing to respond to a client’s correspondence about an estate and a right-of-way issue.
He also failed to respond to 18 separate letters from the society before it found him guilty of misconduct in a ruling published last October.
In a case taken by the LSRA earlier this year, it ordered McNulty to pay €3,000 to a woman who had complained about “absolutely shocking” levels of service when he failed to deal with her teenage son’s personal injury case.
Legal sources in Leitrim said the retired judge was “very annoyed” his name was still attached to McNulty’s practice given the series of recent findings against McNulty.
Contacted by this newspaper, Mr Kilrane said: “I sold a very healthy practice to John McNulty 16 years ago. I sold that to include the goodwill, which included the name of the practice ‘Kevin P Kilrane & Company’.
“I built up that practice over 30 years and I had very loyal clients that I always serviced professionally and with courtesy. It’s disappointing to hear what I’m hearing every day from his existing clients, many of whom are former clients of mine.”
A number of McNulty’s clients have expressed frustration to the Sunday Independent about not being able to access their files or get responses from his firm. The firm’s voicemail states that staff are on leave until “August 16, 2021”.
A number of complaints have been made to the Law Society and LSRA.
Records show McNulty is the subject of two debt judgments. The most recent, for €2,775, was registered in favour of Hughes Flynn Legal Costs Accountants.
A judgment of €205,553 in favour of Liberty Insurance was registered in 2019 following an unopposed High Court application.