Court told of massive charges to clients
Ballaghaderreen-based solicitor Declan O’Callaghan has been given more time by the High Court to address concerns raised by the Law Society.
In June, the High Court was told that Mr. O’Callaghan had charged fees of €344,000 out of a child’s €454,840 estate (following the death of the child’s father). Mr. O’Callaghan, who said he had understood that he had instructions to deduct the fees, now accepted that this had been a mistaken belief and the €344,000 had since been reimbursed.
Concerns had been raised by the Law Society, which applied for Mr. O’Callaghan to be suspended from practice pending a hearing by the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal).
In turn, Mr. O’Callaghan has proposed that he be allowed to continue practising under the supervision of another solicitor.
In a second development, earlier this month the High Court was told that Mr. O’Callaghan had deducted €101,000 in fees from a €396,000 estate held for a widowed client and her three children. The widow and Mr. O’Callaghan had met earlier this month and had now agreed on fees of €28,000.
Mr. O’Callagan says he now accepts the fees were excessive but also says he conducted himself honestly at all times.
Mr. Justice Kelly adjourned proceedings to allow Mr. O’Callaghan more time to address the concerns raised.