1 2014 ISSUE Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year 2014 HOMS Solicitors Fittest Company Challenge Legal 500 HOMS Lunch and Learn Series The Companies Bill 2012 Compulsory Retirement The Facts HOMS Excel Again in the Legal Quality Standard Since our last Newsletter, we are delighted to see that the national economy and indeed the economic landscape for the Mid-West Region has continued to improve. Indeed, this year has been a very exciting one for both Limerick and the Mid- West Region generally. Having overcome initial challenges, I am sure that we can all agree that the City of Culture has been a great success for Limerick, showcasing the talent and innovation that our city has to offer. As with the economic recovery to date, such successes need to be built on for the years ahead. There are a number of key drivers in this region which are functioning together and we are delighted to be associated with these. Shannon Airport continues to develop and expand its offering and we are delighted as a firm to be associated with the airport. A great debt of gratitude is also owed by this region to Professor Don Barry for the work he has carried out at the University of Limerick. Conn Murray also continues to oversee the integration of the City and County Councils into the Unitary Authority and this is a particularly exciting advancement for the region. As a firm, we have reflected the positive advances by winning the title of Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year 2014, and we have set out details in our Newsletter of our commitment to pursuing innovative initiatives as part of our corporate and social responsibility policy. We also discuss the new developments in relation to the Companies Bill, which many of you will no doubt be interested to read, together with details of compulsory retirement, dealing with fraudulent transactions, new regulations for solicitors insurance and interesting case-law in the area of personal injuries litigation. I hope you find the articles to be both informative and relevant; we are extremely thankful to you, our clients, for your continued support and we hope that your businesses are also entering into a new, positive phase of development. We very much look forward to working with you into the future and, as a full-service law firm, we are happy to address any legal queries that might be troubling you in any way. Kind regards, Harry Fehily, Managing Partner. If you wish to subscribe to or unsubscribe from our newsletter, or alternatively request an only or hardcopy only, please contact Alice Steen, Knowledge Manager at our Limerick office with your instructions.
2 The Companies Bill 2012 By George Kennedy, Senior Associate Solicitor, Corporate and Commercial Department First conceived in 1998 the Companies Bill 2012 (the Bill ) is one of the largest pieces of legislation ever to come before the Dáil. Its purpose is to consolidate existing company legislation and introduce legislative reforms. The Bill completed Report Stage and Final Stage in the Seanad on 30 September 2014 and is expected to become law shortly. The purpose of this article is to briefly outline certain key elements of the Bill. New Forms of Private Companies Over 80% of all companies registered in Ireland are private companies limited by shares. The Bill will see the creation of two new forms of private company in Ireland, which will replace existing private companies limited by shares. These new forms of private companies will be known as:- Company Limited by Shares ( CLS ); and Designated Activity Company ( DAC ). Following the enactment of the Bill every private limited company registered in Ireland will be converted into one of these two company types. Key Features of CLS It is anticipated that CLS will be the most common form of private company. Some key features of CLS include:- They may have between 1 and 149 shareholders (currently the maximum is 99) They may have 1 or more directors (currently the minimum is two) They must have a company secretary (who cannot also be the sole director) They will not have an objects clause (currently contained in the Memorandum of Association), as such companies will have full unlimited capacity They will continue to have a company seal. Conversion Process There will be an 18 month transition period starting from the date on which the new Act is commenced. From that date all existing private companies limited by shares will be treated as DACs. After the expiry of this transition period, by default, all existing private companies will become CLS and adopt the model constitution from the Bill (i.e. if companies do nothing prior to expiry of the transition period). Companies can alternatively resolve, during the transition period, to become CLS adopting one of these three options during the transition period:- They may pass a special resolution adopting the model constitution from the Bill; or They may pass a special resolution adopting a tailored constitutional document, based on the model constitution contained in the Bill (directors have an obligation to prepare a new constitution that preserves members rights and obligations); or The company can deliver a statement to the CRO adopting their existing articles of association and certain aspects of their memorandum of association as their new constitutional document. Existing private companies can choose to become a DAC by passing an ordinary resolution during the transition period. Such companies will continue to have an objects clause with a memorandum and articles of association. Other Key Innovations in the Bill A Approval Procedure will be created to enable companies to approve actions which would otherwise be contrary to company law and/or prejudicial to the company s shareholders or creditors. Offences under company law will be categorised into category 1, 2, 3 and 4 offences, with corresponding penalties. There will be a new procedure allowing for the preparation, approval, audit and filing of revised financial statements or directors reports in respect of a prior year. Directors accountability to auditors will also increase with the introduction of a director s report to confirm that auditors have relevant information. There will be an extension of audit exemption for dormant companies, DAC s and companies limited by guarantee. Codification of Directors Duties Directors duties will be codified for the first time, drawing from current common law duties including:- To act in good faith in what the director considers to be the interests of the company To act honestly and responsibly in relation to the conduct of the affairs of the company To act in accordance with the company s constitution, and exercise powers only for purposes allowed by law Not to use the company property, information or opportunities for his/ her benefit unless expressly permitted by members or the company constitution To have regard to the members interests and the interests of the company s employees To restrict the director s power to exercise independent judgment unless expressly permitted under the company s constitution Any loans made to a director if not in writing, are presumed to be interest bearing and repayable on demand. If you require further advice please contact George Kennedy, Senior Associate Solicitor, Corporate and Commercial Department. All Irish private companies will be affected by the enactment of the Companies Bill. Consolidation of existing company law. Introduction of legislative reform. Creation of two new forms of private company in Ireland. Conversion of existing private limited companies. Codification of directors duties. Simplification of statutory approval processes. George Kennedy, Senior Associate Solicitor, Corporate and Commercial Department HOMS Lunch & Learn Series We were pleased to kick off our Lunch and Learn Series on 14th May 2014 with our first seminar Intellectual Property Law & Practice Protecting Innovation. Our Lunch and Learn Series is presented in house at our HOMS Limerick office and is held in conjunction with the University of Limerick. The seminar included the presentations:- Trade Mark Law or the Tort of Passing Off Mutually Exclusive Methods of Protection for Goods and Services? by Pat McInerney, Senior Solicitor, HOMS Horizon 20:20 and the Impact on Research in SMEs by George Kennedy, Senior Associate Solicitor, HOMS The Unitary Patent Package: Challenges and Opportunities for Patent Rights Holders by Dr Eimear Spain, Lecturer in Law, University of Limerick Maximising Innovation Reward Through an Effective IP Management Strategy by Raymond J Friel, BL, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Limerick. Attendees included third level education technology transfer officers, local business leaders, professionals, directors of start up companies and investment companies. For further information please contact Pat McInerney, Senior Solicitor.
3 Facing up to Fraudulent Transactions By Michael Murphy, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department Introduction With the onset of the recession and the increase in fraud cases, the phrase caveat emptore (buyer beware) applies more than ever when purchasing second hand items. This could be particularly relevant to aspiring antique hunters or those involved in the second hand motor trade. There are criminal law aspects to such fraudulent transactions but we will concentrate upon the civil position. For some unfortunate purchasers, goods purchased in good faith may prove to have been stolen from the rightful owner at a much earlier point in time and sold on to an unsuspecting purchaser. When the rightful owner traces their goods to that purchaser, this leads to the vexed question as to whether the purchaser has an entitlement to retain those goods or whether the goods will instead have to be returned to the rightful owner. The Law The area is presently governed by an 1893 Act and a 2005 Irish High Court case involving the purchase of a valuable book-case and the position is worth noting for all parties involved in second-hand purchases. Section 12(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1893, as amended, provides that in any contract for sale there is an implied condition on the part of the seller that he has a right to sell the goods or will have a right to sell the goods at the time when the title to the property is to pass. Section 12(2) of the Act of 1893, as amended, provides for certain warranties in a contract of sale, in the case of which there appears from the contract or is to be inferred from the circumstances of the contract, an intention that the seller should transfer only such title as he or a third person may have. The case of Mallett and Son (Antiques) Limited v. Rory Rogers  IEHC 131 ( the Mallett case ) provides guidance as to the application of the aforementioned legislation. This also happens to be a case with which this office has some affiliation, having acted in proceedings which arose out of this case. The Mallett Case In the Mallett case, a Queen Anne red lacquered bureau bookcase ( the Bookcase ) was stolen in 1990 during a robbery at the estate of Lord Roden, County Down. By 2000 the Bookcase had come into the possession of Rory Rogers, an antique seller. Mr. Rogers agreed to sell the Bookcase on to Mallett & Son (Antiques) Limited ( the Company ), which specialised in purchases/sales in this area, for Stg 80,000. The Company then expended the sum of Stg 31,553 refurbishing the Bookcase, to Mr. Rogers knowledge, before it subsequently came to light that Mr. Rogers did not have the right to sell the Bookcase and the title to the Bookcase still rested with the lawful owner, i.e. the estate of Lord Roden. It was accepted by all of the parties that the Company had no right to retain the Bookcase which was returned to the lawful owner. The Company was entitled to the return of not only the purchase price but also the consequential loss incurred by the Company in refurbishing the Bookcase and the Court awarded the Company damages in the sum of Stg 111,553 against Mr. Rogers on the basis that title to the Bookcase had never rested with either Mr. Rogers or indeed the Company. Title (or rightful ownership ) had at all times rested with the lawful owner of the Bookcase. Principles Derived from the Mallett Case The basic rule as to the transfer of title to personal property is that no one can give a better title than his own (the doctrine known as nemo dat quod non habet); therefore, if the item in question is stolen and the vendor has no title then the purchaser cannot obtain good title in such circumstances. However, a purchaser may have a claim in damages against the purchaser under the Sale of Goods Act 1893, as amended, or common law. Conclusion If a bargain seems to be too good to be true, that might very well prove to be the case and an aggrieved original owner, wrongfully deprived of his or her property, may come knocking on your door seeking the return of their property to which they are entitled once they can demonstrate that they are the rightful owner and that the property was wrongfully deprived from their ownership. When purchasing particular items of significance, it is always prudent to carry out authenticity checks to try to verify the source of the goods and to ensure that the origins of the item can be confirmed. If it proves to be the case that the goods have to be returned, it will be helpful if the vendor is a good mark for damages to be pursued for the loss. In such circumstances professional legal advice should be sought on a case by case basis to ascertain if there is any possible claim for damages. If you require further information please contact Michael Murphy, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department. Purchasing second hand goods which it transpires may be stolen can result in the return of the goods to the original rightful owner. Purchasers may lose out, however in some circumstances there may be a claim for damages against a seller. Michael Murphy, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department. Michael practises in our Commercial and Dispute Resolution Unit. Legal 500 Legal 500, the esteemed legal directory of top ranking law firms, has published the latest 2014 EMEA edition. We have again been ranked as one of the best firms in Ireland in practice areas such as Banking and Finance, Construction, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring, Insurance, Planning and Environment, Public Sector and Real Estate. Comments included: helpful, responsive and knowledgeable', client-driven solutions', service comes first and fees are a secondary concern', and takes a very proactive approach'. HOMS Sponsor Women s Rights Conference HOMS were delighted to sponsor the Women's Rights Conference at the University of Limerick, on November 25th 2013, held by the University of Limerick Student Law Society. The conference was to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The conference was organised with the assistance of the Centre for Criminal Justice. The full day conference addressed issues such as work-life balance, reform of rape law in Ireland, and the struggle for women's rights. You can view the full Legal 500's comments in respect of HOMS on its website Donal Creaton, Partner and head of our family law unit, gave the welcoming address. Speakers included Professor Eileen Drew (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Susan Leahy (University of Limerick), Orla O'Connor (National Women's Council of Ireland), Ellen O'Malley Dunlop (Dublin Rape Crisis Centre), Majella Foley Friel (ADAPT Services) and Dermot P O'Connor (Garda Síochana). If you require any further information on women's rights please contact the head of our family law unit, Donal Creaton, Partner, or our family law Associate Solicitor, Caroline Fitzgibbon.
4 Compulsory Retirement The Facts By Michelle O Riordan, Associate Solicitor, Employment and Pensions Unit The qualifying age for the State pension increased to 66 on 1st January It will further increase to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in This coupled with a population that is living longer has resulted in many employees wishing to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. This can lead to difficulty for employers who wish to enforce a mandatory retirement age. What has been the historical position? Traditionally, employers have required employees to retire at 65 (or at another mandatory retirement age prescribed by the employer) and this was usually provided for in an employee s contract of employment. The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2012 ( Employment Equality Acts ) do not prohibit compulsory retirement, however, many recent European cases eroded the legality of these long established practices. What is the new position? These recent European cases, which have been followed by the Irish Equality Tribunal, have established that it is discriminatory to compel an employee to retire at a certain age unless there is an objective justification for requiring them to do so. Objective justification is not defined in this context, however, various courts have analysed what constitutes objective justification. In general, in order for a particular act by an employer to be objectively justifiable it must (i) correspond to a real need of the employer; (ii) be appropriate; and (iii) be necessary. The new position in practice - Paul Doyle V ESB International Limited Mr. Doyle was required to retire when he reached the age of 65 and he brought a claim that this constituted discrimination on the grounds of age pursuant to the Employment Equality Acts and also the directive which forms the basis of those acts. There was no retirement age in Mr. Doyle s employment contract but the Equality Officer was satisfied on the evidence that the employer had a well established practice of compulsorily retiring employees. Mr. Doyle was employed as a graphic designer. The Equality Officer found in favour of the employer for the following reasons:- The employer had carefully considered the reasons why the retirement age should be capped at 65 and that it was a clear employment policy of the employer The work of the employer may give rise to legitimate health and safety concerns for employees aged 65 and over The carrying out of compulsory medical examinations which may be necessary for employees over 65 may cause embarrassment to some employees The employer was entitled to maintain a retirement age that ensures cohesion among all of its employees; and The employer had established a legitimate employment policy with a legitimate aim. Other examples of objective justification Other examples of objective justification are as follows:- For health and safety reasons To create opportunities in the labour market To increase promotion prospects. What steps can employers take in practice to minimise the risk of any claim? Where employers have compulsory retirement ages, they should continue to provide for these in contracts of employment Employers should enforce compulsory retirement ages where they do form part of an employee s terms and conditions of employment. If an employer does not uniformly require employees to retire on reaching the compulsory retirement age, this will dilute any argument an employer may have in relation to compulsory retirement ages Employers should consider the objective justification for imposing mandatory retirement ages. If you require further information please contact Michelle O Riordan, Associate Solicitor, Employment and Pensions Unit. European cases, which have been followed by the Irish Equality Tribunal, have established that it is discriminatory to compel an employee to retire at a certain age unless there is an objective justification for requiring them to do so. Employers should consider what the objective justification is for any compulsory retirement age to minimise the risk of age discrimination claims against them. Michelle O Riordan, Associate Solicitor, Employment and Pensions Unit. Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Solicitors wins Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year 2014' at the 3rd Annual Irish Law Awards 2014 Limerick and Dublin-based law firm, Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Solicitors has welcomed the news that it has been announced as the winner of the Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year 2014' at the 3rd Annual Irish Law Awards, held on 2nd May at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin. This annual event is designed to acknowledge and honour excellence in the legal profession in Ireland. Nominated in no fewer than 5 categories at the Irish Law Awards, Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Solicitors has once more succeeded in winning a top category award. The firm also won this award in 2012 and was a finalist in this as well as two other categories in Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Mr. Harry Fehily, Managing Partner at Holmes O'Malley Sexton, said We are extremely proud to have won this prestigious award. At our firm, we continuously strive to deliver excellence in service and outstanding results for our clients and it is a great satisfaction to see these efforts being acknowledged. All of the nominations that we have achieved are most welcome and recognise the great effort and commitment to quality of all the staff in our firm. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the organisers of these Awards and in particular to the judging panel, chaired by Dr. Eamonn Hall, for their careful consideration and efforts and indeed for bestowing this significant honour upon us. The Irish Law Awards have proven to be a resounding success since the inaugural ceremony was held in 2012, and the 2014 ceremony was arguably the best yet. The purpose of the awards is to identify, honour and publicise outstanding achievements, whilst also recognising those who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving in the legal profession. Similar events have been held across Europe for many years, and this prestigious ceremony allows Irish legal professionals to be recognised alongside their international peers, thereby serving to enhance the reputation of the profession internationally. Partners Robert Kennedy, Harry Fehily and Robert Bourke receiving the award.
5 The Price v Connors and MIBI Personal Injuries Case By Wayne Finn, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department The case of Price v Connors and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland  IEHC 437 involved a road traffic accident that occurred in the early hours of the 15th May The plaintiff was a front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by Mary Connors which went out of control at high speed and struck a tree. The driving of the vehicle was not covered by a policy of insurance at the time of the accident. Mary Connors sustained fatal injuries in the accident and the plaintiff suffered quite severe personal injuries including multiple fractures and a traumatic head injury. The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland ( MIBI ) is a statutory body established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents involving uninsured and unidentified vehicles. The MIBI compensation process is currently regulated by the MIBI Agreement In the Price case the MIBI resisted the plaintiff s claim on three distinct grounds. Firstly, in reliance on clause 5.2 of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland Agreement 2009, the MIBI argued that the plaintiff knew that the vehicle was not covered by insurance yet she willingly travelled in the vehicle as a passenger. In order to succeed with this argument the onus is on the MIBI to prove on the balance of probabilities that the plaintiff knew that the deceased did not possess a policy of insurance to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident. The plaintiff gave evidence that she had assumed that the deceased had transferred her insurance cover to the new vehicle. Mr. Justice O Neill was satisfied on the evidence that the MIBI had not established on the balance of probabilities that the plaintiff knew that there was no insurance on the vehicle. Secondly, the MIBI claimed that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence in that she permitted herself to be carried as a passenger in a vehicle when she knew or ought to have known that the driver was intoxicated and not fit to drive. A witness saw the vehicle leaving the pub and being driven in an erratic and dangerous manner just before the accident. The autopsy report confirmed that the deceased had an excessive amount of alcohol in her system at the time of the accident. The judge expressed the view that it was inconceivable that the plaintiff was unaware that the deceased had consumed a large quantity of alcohol and he therefore made a finding against the plaintiff of 30% contributory negligence. The third and final issue to be considered was whether or not the plaintiff was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. In this regard, the judge referred to the deposition of Garda McCauley who had stated that the plaintiff was resting between the driver s and the front passenger seats. Additionally, the accident and emergency notes from Tallaght Hospital contained the entry according to the ambulance sheet, Ms Price had been found unrestrained in the front seat with a reduced level of consciousness. The plaintiff also did not suffer any injuries which would be suggestive of wearing a seatbelt. Consequently, Mr. Justice O Neill was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the plaintiff was not wearing her seatbelt and thus he made a further finding of 25% contributory negligence. The total assessment of the injuries by Mr. Justice O Neill amounted to 223,500 and after deducting the 55% total contributory negligence the judge made an order in favour of the plaintiff in the amount of 100,579. For more information on this topic please contact Wayne Finn, Senior Solicitor, or Robert Kennedy, Partner, in our litigation department. Wayne Finn, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department. Wayne practices in our Defence Litigation unit. A passenger, although generally entitled to recover compensation for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident, can be penalised by way of contributory negligence for not wearing a seatbelt and for willingly allowing oneself to be conveyed in a vehicle when they know or ought to know that the driver of that vehicle was intoxicated and unfit to drive. In respect of clause 5.2 of the MIBI Agreement 2009, the onus of proof is on the MIBI to prove that the plaintiff knew that the vehicle was not covered by an approved policy of insurance at the time of the accident. HOMS Solicitors Fittest Company Challenge This year s Barrington s Hospital Great Limerick Run saw the introduction of a corporate event, the Holmes O Malley Sexton (HOMS), Solicitors Fittest Company Challenge. Over 100 companies from Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Dublin, and Cork put down their biros, clipboards and tools, donned their runners and pounded the roads of Limerick taking on the Fittest Company Challenge. The Great Limerick Run team are hailing the event a great success with over 900 employees taking part in the challenge. The slogan of the event, which formed part of the Barrington's Hospital Great Limerick Run was Run, Walk, Crawl - Every Point Counts! and was primarily aimed at companies to develop and encourage healthy lifestyle strategies for employees. Points were awarded for each employee who finished any event in the Great Limerick Run and race times were not taken into account. The companies who encouraged the most of their staff to take part, won. Harry Fehily, Managing Partner at HOMS said We are delighted with the reaction to the Fittest Company Challenge; to have 900 people taking part in the event in its first year, is an unbelievable response and is testament to the high regard that people have for the Great Limerick Run event. The partners at HOMS Solicitors were out to impress with Robert Bourke finishing the 6 mile event in 41 minutes followed by Donal Creaton, Harry Fehily and Robert Kennedy. The Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Solicitors Fittest Company Challenge winners have been announced with Eircom, Firecrest Clinical, AMCS Group and Feale Fit topping the polls of over 110 companies who took on the Challenge. In the large company section, Eircom battled it out with Analog but overcame their rivals with 98 employees completing the Challenge compared to Analog's 82. Northern Trust were in third place with 38 employees crossing the finish line. BARRINGTONS HOSPITAL GREAT LIMERICK RUN The medium company category was hotly contested between Firecrest who had 50 participants and the event sponsor's, HOMS Solicitors. Firecrest emerged victorious by just 9 employees. Barrington's Hospital followed close behind in third place with 31 participants. AMCS Group led the small company category with 20 participants followed by Copytype Ireland with 12 and QAD Ireland with 11. The micro companies (companies with under 10 employees) Feale Fit from Abbeyfeale were victorious with BlueChief Solutions and Autoexpress.ie taking second and third place respectively.
6 The Minimum Terms and Conditions of Professional Indemnity Insurance for Solicitors By Aoife Skehan, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department Professional Indemnity Insurance for solicitors and registered lawyers in this jurisdiction is written within the framework of the Minimum Terms and Conditions of Professional Indemnity Insurance ( the Minimum Terms ).The Minimum Terms provide the scope of cover which a participating insurer is obliged to provide to indemnify the insured solicitor. Each such policy of insurance issued must be construed so as to comply with the requirements of these Minimum Terms and in the event that there is a conflict between a policy s terms and conditions and the Minimum Terms, the policy must provide that the Minimum Terms shall prevail. The Minimum Terms were amended by Statutory Instrument which came into operation on the 1st December, The main changes to the Minimum Terms are in respect of:- The definition of Legal Services The definition of a Succeeding Practice The operation of what is referred to as the double trigger. Legal Services The Minimum Terms stipulate that insurance provided on foot of same must indemnify an insured solicitor as against civil liability arising from the provision of Legal Services, as defined. The definition of Legal Services has now been amended to also cover solicitors or registered lawyers acting as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner as defined within the Personal Insolvency Act, Succeeding Practice The definition of a Succeeding Practice has been widened and it now provides that any firm conducted by a partnership where half or more of the principals of such partnership are identical to those persons who were principals of any partnership that conducted a preceding practice, will be considered to be a Succeeding Practice. In addition, any practice conducted by a sole practitioner who was one of the principals conducting a preceding practice will also be considered to be a Succeeding Practice. Operation of the Double Trigger The most significant amendments contained within the Minimum Terms concern the operation of what is referred to as the double trigger. By way of background, the minimum terms and conditions which came into effect from 1st December, 2009 introduced an obligation on the insurer to indemnify an insured solicitor against civil liability in two circumstances:- (i) In respect of a claim first made against the solicitor and notified to the insurer during the period of insurance in question; or (ii) in respect of a liability which arose from circumstances first notified to the insurer during that period of insurance. Therefore, from 1st December, 2009 it was no longer sufficient that a claim was made during a particular indemnity period but there was also an obligation on the insured solicitor to notify that claim within the said indemnity period. In essence the policy was a claims made and notified policy and this is what is commonly referred to as the double trigger. The minimum terms which came into effect from the 1st December, 2011 introduced a three day grace period at the expiry of an indemnity period and within which an insured solicitor could notify a claim or circumstance (of which it was aware during the indemnity period) to its insurer. The current Minimum Terms have been further amended such that the participating insurer must indemnify an insured solicitor in respect of:- (i) a claim first made against an insured solicitor or arising from circumstances (as defined) which the insured solicitor first became aware of, during an indemnity period commencing on or after 1st December, 2013; and (ii) notification to the insurer during that or a subsequent indemnity period; and (iii) where the insured solicitor maintained continuous insurance cover with that insurer, without interruption, from the period of insurance during which the claim was first made or during which the insured solicitor first became aware of circumstances, until the date of notification of the claim or date of notification of the circumstances, to the insurer in question. Such a claim is now referred to as a Historic Claim and such circumstances are referred to as Historic Circumstances. It would appear from the wording of the Minimum Terms that the applicability of the rules in respect of continuous cover are not retrospective. In addition, the Minimum Terms have been further amended in respect of self-insured excess and limits of liability pertaining to a Historic Claim and/or Historic Circumstance. In circumstances where an insured solicitor has changed insurer and therefore does not satisfy the continuous cover provisions contained within the Minimum Terms, then the double trigger provisions will continue to apply. For further information please contact Aoife Skehan, Senior Solicitor, or Harry Fehily, Managing Partner, of our Litigation Department. Changes have been made to the Minimum Terms and Conditions of Professional Indemnity Insurance. Some important aspects include the changes made in respect of the definition of Legal Services, Succeeding Practice and the Double Trigger. Aoife Skehan, Senior Solicitor, Litigation Department. Aoife practises in our Insurance and Professional Negligence Units. Chambers Europe 2014 Guide HOMS have again been successful in obtaining a ranking in the Chambers Europe 2014 Guide (a guide to the world's best lawyers) for the practice area Restructuring and Insolvency. Chambers described what the HOMS team is known for, stating that HOMS, Acts for a wide range of financial institutions, receivers and liquidators, in addition to winning regular instructions from companies, directors of insolvent companies and creditors. HOMS' strengths were described in comments such as, "This firm does a phenomenal job on the high-profile work. It knows how to steer a case and can hold its own against the biggest firms." "The lawyers are proactive and responsive, and have everything under control." Harry Fehily, Managing Partner, is identified as a notable practitioner and as a, key contact for restructuring and insolvency matters. Chambers listed some of our significant clients as being, BDO, KPMG, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Danske Bank. We are delighted with the ranking and this is testament to the hard work and commitment to quality of the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery team at HOMS. HOMS Excel Again in the Legal Quality Standard We are delighted with the results of our recent Legal Quality Standard audit. HOMS are again one of a small number of firms to have achieved the highest certification possible of a Gold Grade Q6000 Risk Management Legal Quality Standard. Institute of Legal Research & Standards GOLD The Legal Quality The Standard is awarded by the independent Standard Institute of Legal Research & Standards. This certification is an advanced practice, risk and quality management standard awarded to solicitors' firms which have demonstrated exceptional levels of client, practice and risk management and is recognised by the Law Society of Ireland.
7 2014 AUTUMN/WINTER2009 ISSUE Corporate Social Responsibility HOMS employees and partners have had a busy time since our last edition raising funds for charities such as Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Irish Cancer Society s Pink Ribbon Day, Fr. Daly's charity, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Samaritans, Central Remedial Clinic, St.Gabriel s School and Centre, Milford Hospice and the Mark Pollock Trust. The HOMS team who ran in the Mark Pollock Trust Run in the Dark. Left to right: Lisa Kelly (DCS), Siobhan McMahon (HOMS), Ailbhe Storan (HOMS), Andrew Walker BL, Harry Fehily (HOMS), Daragh Doyle (AIG), Robert Kennedy (HOMS) and Philip Saint (Capita). Events included the HOMS team taking part in the Milford Hospice 10k University of Limerick Run/Race, the Run in the Dark Life Style Sports event, a soccer tournament for members of the Limerick Solicitors Bar Association, a tea party, coffee mornings, Santa Bear sales and prize draws. Well done to everyone who took part and special thanks to some of the organisers of those events including Derek Walsh (Solicitor), Alice Lanigan (Solicitor), Robert Kennedy (Partner), Margaret McInerney (HR Manager), Ita Barratt (Legal Executive) and Robert Bourke (Partner). Other initiatives include Harry Fehily, Managing Partner, becoming a board member of Altamira, a project aiming to tackle homelessness in Limerick. Trainee Gillian Hobbs took part teaching in Street Law. Street Law is a volunteering programme run by the Law Society of Ireland which provides legal education to disadvantaged students. Left to right: Simon Murphy (Council Member of the Law Society of Ireland), Mr Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh, and Gillian Hobbs (HOMS trainee solicitor) receiving her certificate for taking part in Street Law. LIMERICK Holmes O'Malley Sexton, Bishopsgate, Henry Street, Limerick, Ireland, DX 3007 Limerick. T: +353 (0) F: +353 (0) E: DUBLIN Holmes O'Malley Sexton, 16 Hume Street, Dublin 2, Ireland T: +353 (0) F: +353 (0) E: The information contained in HOMS News is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice