Complaints the Society may Investigate:

The contravention of a provision
of the Solicitors Acts 1954-2002,
or any order or regulation made thereunder.


Update 1 – 23 January 2014

Update 2 – 20 February 2014

Update 3 – 03 March 2014


Saoirse Maxwell has sent a formal complaint to the Law Society of Ireland concerning Section 68 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994. This requires a solicitor to state, in writing, the cost, estimate of costs, or at least the cost basis of services being provided. In the administration of Dolores' estate this has not been done, even though it has been well over three years since Dolores died, and repeated requests have been made to Beauchamps Solicitors for a Section 68 letter.

We think it is a very simple, cut and dry complaint. However, we will be surprised if anything is actually done about it.

Nonetheless, in the interests of the public good, we will report on developments in real–time as far as we are able, given the time differential. The complaint is against four solicitors of Beauchamps: Joseph Bowe, John Cunningham, Katherine Irwin, and John White.

Bowe and Cunningham are the solicitor/executors of Dolores' estate. Some question remains whether or not Cunningham still works at Beauchamps or is even reachable. We'll see.

Katherine Irwin is a partner at Beauchamps and the head of the Private Client and Family Law Unit of Beauchamps. White is the Managing Partner at Beauchamps.

A separate form was required for each solicitor, but because Part 1 and Part 4 are identical in each complaint, we only include those once. Because the complaints concern an estate Part 3 is not applicable and was not included. You can see the blank Law Society Complaint Form here.


Here are the complaints followed by the supporting documents, as sent to the Law Society via registered post on 22 January 2014:


Bowe Complaint

Bowe's letter to Saoirse's brother was sent to the Law Society in its entirety, but we are not publishing it here at this time.
For a view of the most pertinent parts see this Open Letter to Beauchamps Partners.
Response to 16 December 2013 Letter




As above, Bowe's letter to Saoirse's brother was sent to the Law Society in its entirety, but we are not publishing it here at this time.
For a view of the most pertinent parts see this Open Letter to Beauchamps Partners.
Response to 16 December 2013 Letter



Irwin Complaint

04 November 2013 Letter
16 December 2013 Letter Note: This is the same letter included in the above complaints regarding Bowe and Cunningham.



White complaint

04 November 2013 Letter Note: Same letter as above that was sent to Katherine Irwin.



Update 1: 23 January 2014

An Post comes through. An Post On Time
If only other systems in Ireland worked half as well as An Post…

Once again, we think Saoirse's complaint will come to nought, as we have assigned precisely zero credibility points to Ireland's “legal”, um, “profession”.

On the other hand, the Law Society has been in a flurry of activity the past few months as it tries to appear relevant in order to forestall losing any “oversight” capability over its solicitors. Although radical reform of Ireland's legal profession has been called for since at least 1982, Ireland is now under an EU and IMF agreementas part of a bailout package — to finally do just that. Of course the Law Society is fighting any change in the staus quo, as usual.

So how will the Law Society respond to Saoirse's complaint? Although the Law Society has referred such cases to the Tribunal for sanctions against the solicitors involved before (see Recent Updates for 20 January 2014), our best guess is that a quiet and discreet phone call will be made. But then again:

Practice Notes

We think Saoirse could not have made it simpler for the Law Society. Cut and dried. Obvious. Inescapable. Manifest. Self–evident. No doubt.

We'll see.



Update 2: 20 February 2014

It should be utterly self-evident that nobody
can simultaneously combine a policing
and trade union role; be their representative
body and simultaneously their regulator;
be advocate and also run the disciplinarian

Ivan Yates  – Ivan Yates describing the Law Society of Ireland

“Historic Chance for Legal Reform” Irish Independent


We wholeheartedly agree with Ivan Yates and his view of self–regulation by the solicitor–class. This nonsense is self–evident, indeed. We do not think it fools anyone.

A letter was sent to Saoirse on 05 February from the Law Society concerning her complaint of
22 January:


We don't know why the “Complaints Executive” Martin Clohessy sent a letter to John White alone, neglecting the three other complaints. We'll see how that plays out.

According to the Law Society, what should happen now is that White (and the other three solicitors) will respond to the Law Society by letter, and then the Law Society will forward the response(s) to Saoirse:

Law Society Complaints

Once again, we'll see.

To be honest, we have never had a lot of confidence in this exercise. And now we learn that over eight months ago the Law Society received a complaint from a another beneficiary of Dolores' estate concerning the lack of a Section 68 letter, along with other issues such as conflict of interest. In that complaint, the beneficiary received a letter like the one above and has not heard a peep from the Law Society since.

We are not sure why this would be. Perhaps this is the answer:

No complaints

The Law Society of Ireland has arranged their complaint process such that if you make a complaint about a solicitor for, oh let's say, a lack of a Section 68 letter, and then realise that the same solicitor has stolen a large amount of money that was due to be paid to you, you cannot bring a complaint about that until the Law Society closes the first complaint.

And so, if the Law Society takes 8 months, or 8 years to close the first complaint, you are out of luck. Charming. Another reason we sometimes refer to the Law Society of Ireland as the:

Solicitors Trade Union for Protection, Insulation, and Defence”



Update 3: 03 March 2014

Having seen more than three weeks go by with no word from the Law Society, Saoirse wrote to the Martin Clohessy, the “Complaints Executive” handling her complaint on 03 March. She emailed this letter and also sent it by post the following day, just to be sure.

Letter to Society

We have learned since (from sources other than the Law Society) that yes, Managing Partner John White was the person that Martin Clohessy sent Saoirse's complaints to. All four complaints. Well, thank you Martin, but Saoirse made four separate complaints to the Law Society. She was not complaining to White about the other three. WTF.

So what did White do with these complaints? Well, of course. He handed all four to Joe Bowe, who, along with his client and co-executor Ethan Maxwell is at the very centre of this absolute mess. Great.

We don't know whether Kathy Irwin's complaint was given to her. We don't know if John Cunningham is even around to receive his complaint.

As reported in Saoirse's letter above, the other beneficiary's complaint to the Law Society has gone precisely nowhere. Solicitor Kay Lynch, who is “handling” this complaint refuses to respond to repeated registered letters from this beneficiary for an update.

Yo! Kay! 'Sup with your self?
Answer your !&¿*±!?* mail!!

Even as extremely serious evidence of wrongdoing by White and Bowe has recently emerged, both Saoirse and the other beneficiary who filed a complaint are precluded from making any complaint about that sordid situation by the Law Society's rules—no further complaints accepted until the current complaints are done and dusted. You just can't make this stuff up. Welcome to Ireland.

Stay tuned.

Solicitors Trade Union for Protection, Insulation, and Defence”


The Law Society closed the file on this complaint on 04 March 2014. See how that unfolded on The Law Society Complaint Part 02.


[Editor's note: As always, we seek and encourage anyone with knowledge of Dolores' life and/or the events presented here to contribute to this site. Memories, anecdotes, photos and documents are more than welcome. Clarification, correction and alternative views are encouraged and welcomed. Submissions   ]


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