Friday 17 November 2017

Legal eagles' protection comes with a high cost

In country-specific recommendations for Ireland last year, the Commission noted legal costs here remained high and signalled they could affect the State’s competitiveness. Stock Image
In country-specific recommendations for Ireland last year, the Commission noted legal costs here remained high and signalled they could affect the State’s competitiveness. Stock Image
Editorial

Editorial

Not even the Troika were able to significantly cut the costs of legal services in this country. During the bailout era, the cost of hiring lawyers and reform of the legal profession was a constant bugbear of the European Commission. During the reviews of the bailout, a familiar item on the list of policy proposals would be "the opening up of competition in sheltered sectors like legal services".

Privately, officials would express extreme exasperation around the failure to address the cost to the consumer and the wider economy of this most sheltered of the so-called sheltered sectors.

The list of the sheltered sectors was wider than just the legal profession, also including the pharmacy and medical professions. The watering down of the provisions of Alan Shatter's Legal Services Bill showed the influence the legal profession brought to bear on the political classes.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss