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Assisted Decision Making Solicitors Panel

What is the Panel?

The Legal Aid Board is seeking solicitors in private practice with an interest in the law relating to the protection of vulnerable adults, capacity, and wardship to join its new Assisted Decision Making Solicitors Panel which is being established with effect from 26th April 2023*, initially for a three year period.

Solicitors who are successfully entered on the Panel will provide legal advice and legal aid in relation to matters on foot of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, to include:

  • Legal advice in connection with the drafting of decision making assistance agreements, co-decision making arrangements, advanced healthcare directives, and enduring powers of attorney
  • Legal aid in connection with applications for a declaration as to capacity, a decision making order or decision making representation order
  • Legal aid in connection with the discharge of existing wards of court from wardship

Legal advice and legal aid will be provided to persons who have been granted a legal aid certificate or letter of authority to provide legal advice from the Board, and whom have been referred to the Panel in accordance with management guidelines.

What type of proceedings are covered?

The Panel covers most proceedings under the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 save for proceedings under Parts 9, 10, or 11 of the Act or proceedings which relate to the prosecution of a criminal offence.

What are the requirements?

You will be enrolled as a solicitor in the State and meet the other requirements in our terms and conditions for membership of the panel including the training requirement.

If you are entered onto the panel you will be expected to comply with our Best Practice Guidelines when carrying out work on our behalf.

Do I have to attend training?

If you have attended any of the following courses you will be deemed to have satisfied the training requirement:

  • The Legal Aid Board training event held on 23rd January 2023
  • The Law Society of Ireland training event on 13th July 2022
  • The Bar Council of Ireland conference on 28th April 2023 
  • The Board is running a Coffee and Learn / Lunch and Learn training series in March – May 2023. Attendance at a sufficient number of these training events (at least 75%) may be deemed to satisfy the requirement. You can find out further details of these events here.

The Board may (at its discretion) deem other or alternative training events to have satisfied the requirement. You should include full details of the event in your application.

If you do not presently satisfy the training requirement you will be placed on a standby list. Subject to demand the Board may run further training events.

How do I get work?

Persons seeking legal aid apply to law centres. Relevant persons (in connection with Part 5 capacity applications) and existing wards of court (in relation to Part 6 discharge from wardship cases) do not need to meet financial eligibility criteria. All other applicants must meet financial eligibility criteria. All cases must meet the applicable merits criteria. Cases will be selected for referral to the Panel by law centres in accordance with management guidelines.

Where a law centre refers a case to the panel it is the legally aided person’s decision as to which panel solicitor is engaged. For these reasons we cannot guarantee that any individual solicitor will receive any work on foot of their membership of the panel.

Solicitors should also note that we cannot guarantee that any particular legally aided person will be referred to the Panel. This includes any case in which the solicitor/firm may have previously acted for the client on a fee-paying basis. Solicitors should bear all of this in mind when advising existing clients about applying for legal aid.

How to apply

You can download the application form and the terms and conditions which includes the fee structure.

Please return the signed application form preferably by email to admcapp@legalaidboard.ie or alternatively by post to Assisted Decision Making Solicitors Panel, Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry V23 RD36 or via DX to DX166004 CAHERSIVEEN.

Please note that as appointment to the Panel is on an individual solicitor basis, a separate application form is needed for each solicitor in the firm who wishes to join the Panel. Multiple applications can be sent in the one email / envelope.

Closing date

There is no closing date for applications for this Panel. However, to be placed on the Panel for commencement of the Act on 26th April 2023*, we’ll need your completed application to arrive with us no later than close of business Thursday 20th April 2023. Email is the best way of sending your application to us to ensure it arrives on time.

* Subject to the expected commencement of the Act on that date.