Overcharging solicitor faces €94,000 bill in legal costs



A lawyer who overcharged a client by €650,000 faces a €94,000 bill in legal costs, the Irish Independent reports.

Wicklow solicitor Joe Buckley, against whom costs were awarded, had failed in his challenge to a decision by the Taxing Master to cut a number of bills the lawyer had charged to publican Denis Doyle.

Mr Buckley has counterclaimed against his client for €720,000.

He had represented Mr Doyle as well as members of his family in various matters, among them the sale of property over a decade from 1998.

However, Mr Doyle grew concerned about being overcharged.

Taxing Master Declan O’Neill, who determines disputes that arise over legal costs stemming from litigation, issued a decision in January 2017, finding that Mr Buckley had overcharged the publican and, as such, reduced several bills issued by the solicitor.

Mr Buckley thereafter sought review of the decision in the High Court but his application was refused by Mr Justice Donald Binchy last month.

The judge ordered the solicitor to pay €25,000 initially, pending a determination from the Taxing Master on the total owed.

Mr Justice Binchy said that Mr Buckley had five months to repay this sum.

In separate proceedings, Mr Doyle seeks €565,000 held in a client account from Mr Buckley. The solicitor has said there is about €45,000 still in this account.