Abhaile Solicitors Panel
What is the Abhaile Solicitors Panel?
A Scheme, called Abhaile, was announced on 22nd January 2016 by the Minister for Justice and Equality to help people who are insolvent and in mortgage arrears on their home, to access independent financial and legal advice. Abhaile is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Social Protection, in co-operation with relevant agencies including the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) (which acts as the gateway for people to access advice under the Scheme), the Insolvency Service of Ireland, the Citizens Information Board and the Legal Aid Board.
The Legal Aid Board has established a panel of solicitors willing to provide the following services to persons eligible for Abhaile:
- A Solicitor Consultation Service;
- A 'Duty Solicitor' service at court (repossession lists), and
- A Personal Insolvency Arrangement Review Legal Aid Service.
What are the requirements to join?
If you want to join this panel you will need to:
- be a Solicitor practicing in the State
- have sufficient professional indemnity insurance
- comply with the tax clearance requirements for public sector contracts
- attend the training we organise
- demonstrate to the our satisfaction that you have either:
- recent experience in providing legal services in home repossession cases, which must include experience in advocacy before the Circuit Court in such cases; or
- experience in providing legal services in relation to personal insolvency arrangements.
This is just a summary. The full requirements are in our Terms and Conditions which you must agree to if you want to provide services as part of this Panel.
What do I need to do to join?
To join the panel, fill out an application form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will find the application form in the Terms and Conditions and you can download it here.
You will need to attend the training we organise before you can provide services. We provided training for interested solicitors on three occasions in 2016 and 2017. If you attended one of the training sessions, let us know in the cover email. We will check against our attendance list. At present there are no further training days scheduled. The provision of further training will be subject to there being sufficient demand from solicitors who have indicated an interest in joining the panel.
All appointments are for solicitors personally and not in the name of the firm. If a number of solicitors in your firm want to join the panel, you must send separate application forms for each solicitor. You can send them under the one cover email.
What about barristers?
If you are a barrister, and want to provide services under Abhaile, you need to join the barristers' panel for civil legal aid. You can find out more here.
In general, we will authorise one junior counsel for each PIA review case. We might authorise Senior Counsel is some circumstances.
One of the conditions of being accepted onto the Panel will be attendance at one of our Abhaile training days.
You can find some of the materials from speakers at a previous training event below. They may be useful if you are deciding whether or not to join the panel.
Government support for free advice and help to resolve home mortgage arrears
ISI Solutions, Abhaile Scheme to date and Personal Insolvency Arrangements
Scope and operations
Recent Legislative Amendments to Personal Insolvency Acts & Court Review of Arrangements
Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) MABS
Personal and corporate insolvency