The regulations forbid the inclusion of any words or phrases which suggest that legal services relating to a compensation claim will be provided on a no win no fee basis as such prohibition is in line with the statutory ban on advertisements which encourage or induce claims for damages for personal injuries. It should be noted that there is no prohibition on solicitors in Ireland undertaking work on a no win no fee basis, and solicitors are perfectly entitled to offer their services on a no win no fee basis, and indeed many solicitors’ firms operate on a no foal, no fee basis. The restriction on solicitors is merely on the content of their advertisements.
The general right of solicitors to advertise is severely curtailed when it comes to advertising for personal injuries claims. The Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002 (S.I. No. 518 of 2002) introduced a ban on advertisements which refer to claims or possible claims for damages for personal injuries, the outcome of such claims or the provision of services by solicitors in conjunction with such claims. The regulations prohibit advertisements which “solicit, encourage or offer any inducement” to make such claims. The regulations specify that the advertisement may include, amongst other things, “factual information on the legal services and areas of law to which the services relate”. The regulations specify that the words “personal injuries” may be included in such factual information in a “list of services”.