Almost 160 local solicitors to attend major legal conference in Kilkenny

Law Society to address challenges of smaller firms

Kilkenny People


Kilkenny People



Solicitor John Harte of Harte Solicitors, Kilkenny, is the President of the Kilkenny Bar Association and is attending the event

Almost 160 local solicitors will attend the General Practice Update 2019 taking place at the Hotel Kilkenny tomorrow.

The conference is organised by the Law Society Finuas Skillnet in partnership with Carlow Bar Association, Kilkenny Bar Association, Wexford Bar Association and Waterford Law Society. It is an opportunity for local solicitors to stay up-to-date on essential areas of law such as limited liability partnerships, conveyancing and more.

This year the General Practice Update 2019 has a particular focus on smaller practices and sole practitioners. It comes as the Law Society provides special supports for local solicitors and their businesses through the Small Practice Support Project.

The project, which was launched in February this year, makes 11 strategic recommendations to help sole practitioners and smaller firms in rural and urban Ireland grow their businesses and achieve greater success for their clients, their firms and their local communities.

The project is particularly relevant to the hundreds of solicitors that work in one of the 116 firms in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford with five or fewer solicitors.

Solicitor John Harte of Harte Solicitors, Kilkenny, is the President of the Kilkenny Bar Association and is attending the event. He says the annual legal conference is an opportunity for local solicitors to reflect on the current legal landscape and discuss practice developments.

“The legal landscape is always evolving. Solicitors are constantly learning and upskilling so they can provide the best possible advice for their clients”, said Mr Harte.

“A large number of solicitors attending the event come from firms with five or fewer solicitors. These smaller practices are businesses as well as legal advisors. They must be adept at the day-to-day running of a business as well as practising the law.”

“Solicitors working in the Kilkenny-Carlow region and the surrounding areas are practising outside the big legal hubs, so it is important for us as individuals and as a profession to take time out of our busy practices to upskill,” he said. “Professional development is a huge benefit to us and to our clients.”

“It is important that solicitors in smaller practices can work to meet the day-to-day challenges of running a legal practice as well as serving our clients,” said Mr Harte. “This conference is an opportunity to address some of those challenges.”

“Earlier this month the Government introduced Limited Liability Partnerships as an option for partnerships of solicitors in Ireland,” said Mr Harte. “Until now, partners in solicitor firms could be personally held responsible for the debt accrued by an employee of the firm.”

“This put solicitors, particularly solicitors in smaller firms, at great financial risk while providing much needed services for their clients and communities."

“LLPs will now give similar protections to solicitors’ practices as those enjoyed by limited companies. However, this does not yet extend to sole practitioners,” he explained.

“This change is very welcome and will provide a new level of protection amongst solicitors in the Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Waterford region.”