A Man’s Best Friend

A dog’s bark can be worse than his bite, writes Solicitor Matthew Molloy who says
many dog owners are leaving themselves open to being sued.

Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience. However, if you own a dog. you should be careful that your adorable pooch is covered by your home insurance.

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(Galway Independent Article June 3rd 2015, PDF format )

The route for the Galway bypass has been decided

The route for the Galway bypass has been decided.
The plans would see the bypass beginning west of Barna village, crosses the river at Dangan, 300 metres north of Quincentenary Bridge and finishes at a tiered spaghetti junction at Briarhill.

If you are one of the homeowners or landowners concerned over the proposed plans and interference with your home or land, particularly if your home is set to be demolished, contact the legal experts at Berwick Solicitors for a no-obligation consultation on 091 567545 or email info@berwick.ie for a free callback.


More details here >

Berwick Solicitors open new office in Galway

Berwick Solicitors, litigation and business dispute specialists, are delighted to announce the opening of it’s new office at 16 Eyre Square, Galway. Located between the Hardiman Hotel and Allied Irish Bank on the southern end of Eyre Square, Berwick Solicitors is strategically positioned to service the needs of Galway’s business community.

“Galway City continues to grow and exerts a significant impact on maritime, commerce, employment and technology industries  – these are areas where Berwick Solicitors assist their clients in protecting their interests,” says Matthew Molloy, managing partner at Berwick Solicitors. “We are inspired by the innovation and vibrancy in Galway City and we are thrilled to be near the centre of the city and close to Galway Harbour, the development of which, holds huge potential for the future growth in employment and commercial activity in the West of Ireland.”

Read full press report >>

New Law on Late Payments in Commercial Transactions

In March of this year the European Communities (Late Payments in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2012 came into effect. The new law applies to commercial transactions in both the public and private sectors. The main points in the new law are as follows;

1. Interest is payable on late payments in commercial contracts
2. The standard term for the payment of invoices is 30 days but under the new law this period can be extended to 60 days with the agreement of both parties;
3. The interest clause is implied in the contract which means that it does not have to be written into the contract; and
4. The rate of interest chargeable for late payment is the European Central Bank main refinancing rate plus 8 percentage points unless otherwise agreed between the parties.

For more information please contact James Seymour at jamesseymour@berwick.ie.


Dog owners’ liability

Owning a dog can be a very rewarding experience. However dog owners should be careful that their adorable pooch is covered by their home insurance.

Unfortunately there have been a number of high profile incidents in recent months where dogs have bitten children causing serious injuries and sometimes even death.

In the US, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of home insurance claims paid in 2011 according to USA Today. It is a worrying trend that may catch on here in Ireland.

The Control of Dogs Act 1986 is the principal legislation in Ireland governing the liability of owners for their dogs. It imposes a strict liability on dog owners where the offending dog causes damage to a person or to livestock. Strict liability means that the dog owner will always be held responsible even where the dog had never bitten a person before.

To find a registered dog trainer visit http://apdt.ie/.


Proposed change to options available to businesses in difficulties

Berwick Solicitors welcome the changes proposed by the Irish Government in relation to the laws governing a company going in to examinership.

Examinership is a process whereby a company which has a good prospect of trading out of it’s current difficulties but is under pressure from one or more of its creditors, can apply to the courts for protection from its creditors for a specified period to allow the company to put in place a scheme of arrangement. The court if satisfied that the company has a reasonable prospect of survival, can appoint an independent expert called an examiner to put together the scheme of arrangement which provides for partial settlement of the debts owed to certain classes of creditors. Normally a company seeking examinership must apply to the High Court which can cost potentially thousands of euro in legal fees. The proposed changes will allow a company to apply in its local circuit court for examinership which will greatly reduce the legal costs.

As a law firm focussed on providing affordable debt recovery and insolvency solutions to its business clients, Berwick Solicitors welcomes the proposed changes and eagerly awaits the fast tracking of the legislation to implement the government’s plans.

For more information, please contact James Seymour at jamesseymour@berwick.ie.


Take a Taxi

If you are after partying late at night and you are offered a lift home in a car being driven by a Friend, who you suspect is not insured to drive the car,, what should you do? .

The answer is that you should instead take a taxi. If you are injured by the careless driving of your Friend, you cannot claim if you knew that your Friend was uninsured; you can claim if you were not so aware.

This is an area of law that the courts are becoming stricter on and which can be tragic for a passenger who suffers serious injury.


Three simple steps to collecting those outstanding invoices

Berwick Solicitors have an experienced and cost effective debt collection service for both its business and individual clients. James Seymour is the partner in Berwick Solicitors who supervises the debt collection team.

The team has put together the simple 3 step procedure below for use by all businesses both multinational and domestic which should help to increase the number of outstanding invoices collected without the need to resort to legal proceedings.

1. When dealing with a limited liability company, always ensure that one or more of the directors of that company signed a personal guarantee for the company’s debts when opening an account with your business. This will focus the minds of the directors to deal with the debt as they will have a personal interest in ensuring it is paid.

2. Nominate someone in your business to deal with outstanding invoices. That person should be given exclusive control of those accounts where the invoices are overdue. Often a debtor will try and deal only with the person in your business providing the service to them and it can be awkward for that person to raise the issue of the outstanding debt. Giving one person in your business the task of chasing up on invoices allows for the collection of invoices to be centralised and focussed.

3. Never engage verbally with a debtor who is abusive towards you or your staff. Try and keep your cool and if the debtor continues to be abusive, engage a solicitor as such abusive debtors only cause you stress and take up time which could be better spent on your actual business.

For more information, please contact James Seymour at jamesseymour@berwick.ie

SFA Employment Law Survey – October 2013

SFA Employment Law Survey – October 2013: http://bit.ly/19He0UX

SFA Employment Law Survey Shows:
– 87% of small firms see no reduction in the administrative burden of employment law
– 46% view employment law as a significant burden
– 64% of small businesses do not have a dedicated HR resource
‘Lack of knowledge’ is not a defence in employment law cases – the only defence is to be prepared!” Avine McNally, Acting Director, SFA.

Berwick Solicitors offer comprehensive specialist advice and representation in matters of Employment Law. If you are unsure as to whether you have a valid complaint or wish to be advised on an employment matter, please contact us: https://berwick.ie/employment-law/.


Seek independent advice if you have a case against a professional adviser

Why you should always seek independent advice if you think you have a case against a professional adviser for negligence

The High Court has made it very clear that an independent expert report should be obtained before issuing proceedings for damages for negligence by a professional advisor (e.g. doctor, solicitor, accountant, architect, engineer, valuer, etc).

While this is an expense at the very beginning of the case, it does have the advantage of confirming whether you have a good case or not. It is better to sustain the cost of an independent expert report and find out that you have no case at an early stage rather than to find out that you have no case when you’re on the steps of court having incurred substantial legal costs.

Berwick Solicitors maintain a panel of independent experts to provide reports in respect of professional negligence.