Lawyers' Fees


Sir, - With reference to Pat Rabbitte's article today, like many observers of the legal profession he has failed to grasp the nub of the problem - self regulation.

It is my view, based on the documented experiences of other more advanced jurisdictions, that until such time as the State takes over the administration and regulation of solicitors and barristers, there will be continuing problems with shoddy and unacceptable work practices, gross overcharging, negligence and rogue lawyers absconding with clients' funds. Nothing will change until the system is changed, and it is a complete cop-out for our public representatives to turn their back on this volatile issue while a large sector of our people live at or below the poverty level.

In the United States, there is a tax surcharge of 10 per cent on all income earned exceeding $250,000 - this is in addition to normal tax payable. I believe our exchequer would see a considerable improvement in revenue inflows were a similar surcharge of 20 per cent (to allow for our small population) to be levied on all earnings (to include benefits-in-kind) in excess of £100,000. This would give us a fairer and more equal society.

Talk is cheap. Let's see some action before the people declare enough is enough. - Yours, etc., Martin McCarthy,

Lower Kilmacud Road,


Co Dublin.