Money market board

Enhanced safeguards for client funds with new solicitor accounts regulation

Money market board

The Law Society of Ireland has introduced new Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2023 which will come into operation on 1 July 2023. The current regulations have been in force since 2014. 

The regulations will impact solicitors, reporting accountants and Law Society investigations in the following ways:


  • It is no longer a requirement to open a separate bank account where a solicitor is acting as personal representative of an estate.
  • Balancing statements are to be prepared at quarterly intervals in respect of client account transactions.
  • Client ledger balances are to be reviewed for undue or unnecessary delays in discharging client moneys and immediate action taken to clear same, where appropriate.
  • A listing of client ledger balances outstanding two years or more is to be prepared at the accounting date and furnished to the Law Society by the Reporting Accountant.
  • Clients are to be furnished with a statement of account in respect of each matter.
  • Client moneys are to be returned to clients when the legal service is completed.
  • Evidence of payments in cash is to include the witnessed signature of the recipient.
  • Transfers of funds from client to office account are to be related to specific clients.
  • The Law Society is to be notified of a deficit that cannot be rectified within seven days of the deficit coming to the solicitor’s attention.
  • Cheque signatories or transaction authorisers on the client account are to include a solicitor who is a partner or a sole practitioner with a current practising certificate.
  • Register of undertakings and of funds held on joint deposit are to be maintained.
  • A file of documents or record in respect of electronic transfers to be maintained.
  • Compliance partner is to provide specific confirmation to the Law Society, through the Form of Acknowledgement, of compliance with the regulations in respect of balancing statements, balances outstanding two years or more, review of client ledger balances for undue or unnecessary delays and back up of computerised accounting systems.
  • Client accounts are not to be used for the purpose of borrowing from, lending to, or organising loans between clients.
  • Client accounts are not to be used to hold moneys other than in respect of legal services provided.
  • Client accounts are not to be used to hold, or to pass through, solicitors’ personal moneys.
  • Responsibility for breach of the regulations extends to the solicitor responsible for the actual breach, and not just the principal or partners of the firm.

Reporting Accountants

  • Reporting accountants to examine “Balancing Statements” prepared at quarterly intervals in respect of client-account transactions (currently these are examined at six monthly intervals).
  • Reporting accountant’s reports are to be filed within five months of the accounting date (currently reports are to be filed within six months).
  • Reporting accountant to test check postings before and after accounting date.
  • Reporting accountants to test check that withdrawals of fees are notified to the clients.
  • Reporting accountants may report, directly to the Law Society, an opinion or a suspicion of a deficit, rather than waiting to submit annual report. 
  • Provide to the Law Society a list of any client ledger balances outstanding for two years or more prepared as at the accounting date.
  • Closing reporting accountant’s reports are to be filed within three months of cessation.
  • Reasons are to be provided for withdrawal of approval of a Reporting accountant.

Law Society Investigations

  • Investigations may be carried out away from the solicitor’s practice.
  • The Law Society may instruct an authorised person to communicate with such persons and seek such information and documentation as the Society considers necessary.

For the full text of the Regulations, please click here.

Contact us:

Brian Geraghty, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
Brian Geraghty
Partner, Audit
George Kennington, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
George Kennington
Partner, Audit
Chris Magill, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
Chris Magill
Partner, Audit
Roseanna O'Hanlon, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
Roseanna O'Hanlon
Partner, Audit
Gerard O'Reilly, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
Gerard O'Reilly
Partner, Audit
Shaw McClung - Crowe Ireland
Shaw McClung
Partner, Audit