Thomas Ryan Solictors - Services

By: Thomas Ryan  05/12/2011
Keywords: law, employment, employment law

Wills and Probate

We offer advice to individuals and their families on all aspects of succession, tax and estate planning.

Many people underestimate the importance of making a will or believe that it is only necessary for people of high net worth. This is not so, nor is it complicated or expensive to make a will.

A will sets out how a person wishes their assets to be distributed on death. If there is no will, a person’s assets are distributed according to law and not the person’s wishes.

Making a Valid Will

We provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of will-making and ensure that our client’s wishes will be reflected in a properly executed will in a clear and unambiguous manner. We also ensure that the will is drafted in a tax efficient way, making use of any of the various tax reliefs available.

Grant of Probate/Administration

We deal with all matters concerning the issue of probate and the administration of estates, including: advising and assisting executors in their legal duties and responsibilities; advising beneficiaries on the terms of a will; dealing with the tax implications of a will and applying for grant of administration We pride ourselves in providing a service which ensures as fast and efficient an administration of a deceased’s estate as is possible.

Estate/Tax Planning

We offer clients expert, practical advice and assistance in tax and estate planning and in structuring their affairs in a tax efficient manner.

Employment

Our firm recognises the complexity of this area of law and the vast amount of obligations, duties and entitlements under employment legislation.

We have over 30 years experience specialising in this area of the law and we offer expert up to date advice to both employees and employers in every sector on every aspect of employment law taking into account all legislative and case law changes which impact on the workplace.

If you are an employee or an employer who wants advice, information on the procedures to follow, or if you are subject to a claim please contact us for advice and assistance. We have a thorough knowledge of the remedies and procedures applicable. We can provide representation and guidance before Employment Appeals Tribunals, Labour Relations Commissioners, Labour Court, Courts and Equality Authority. We also provide employers with Contracts of Employment and policies tailored to their own specific needs.

Generally claims under employment legislation have a time limit of six months which is seldom extended so do not waste any time in contacting us.

Bullying and Harassment

There is an obligation on all employers to prevent harassment in the workplace. Harassment at work is defined as "unwanted conduct" which "has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person" by reason of that person’s:

  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Family status, e.g. as parent of a child
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religious belief
  • Membership of the Travelling community

Harassment not related to the above grounds may be a Health and Safety issue.

The "unwanted conduct" includes spoken words, gestures or the production and display of written words, pictures and other material. This includes offensive gestures or facial expressions, unwelcome and offensive calendars, screen-savers, e-mails and any other offensive material.

Harassment can be by a fellow worker, a superior, a client, a customer or any other business contact. Harassment can take place at work or on a training course, on a work trip, at a work social event or any other occasion connected with the job.

Bullying in the workplace is repeated inappropriate behaviour that undermines the worker’s right to dignity at work. Bullying can be:

  • Verbal bullying
  • Physical bullying
  • Social isolation and exclusion
  • Damaging someone’s reputation by gossip and rumours
  • Intimidation
  • Aggressive or obscene language
  • Repeated requests with impossible tasks or targets

It is important to note that an isolated incident in the workplace cannot amount to bullying but it may amount to harassment if it falls under the above grounds.

If you feel you are being bullied or harassed at work please contact us for information and advice.

All employers are required to have an anti-bullying policy in the workplace and established procedures for dealing with complaints of bullying. Our firm provides expert anti-bullying policies and procedures which are tailored to specific employer’s needs.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any form of "unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature" which "has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person".

The "unwanted conduct" includes physical contact, spoken words, gestures or the production and display of written words, pictures and other material. This includes offensive gestures or facial expressions, unwelcome and offensive calendars, screen-savers, e-mails and any other offensive material.

Sexual harassment can be by a fellow worker, a superior, a client, a customer or any other business contact. It can take place at work or on a training course, on a work trip, at a work social event or any other occasion connected with the job.

If you feel you are being sexually harassed at work please contact us for information and advice.

Unfair Dismissal

The law in this area provides protection for employees from being unfairly dismissed from their jobs by laying down criteria by which dismissals are to be regarded unfair and by providing redress for an employee whose dismissal has been found to be unfair.

Generally, a person must be in the continuous service of the employer for the period of one year.

To justify a dismissal, an employer must show that it either resulted from one or more of the following causes:

  1. The capability, competence or qualifications of the employee for the work s/he was employed to do;
  2. The employee's conduct;
  3. Redundancy;
  4. The fact that continuation of the employment would contravene another statutory requirement;
    Or;
  5. That there were other substantial grounds for the dismissal.

Dismissals will be unfair under the Acts where it is shown that they resulted wholly or mainly from any of the following:

  1. An employee's trade union membership or activities, either outside working hours or at those times during working hours when permitted by the employer;
  2. Religious or political opinions;
  3. Race or colour or sexual orientation;
  4. The age of an employee;
  5. An employee's membership of the travelling community;
  6. Legal proceedings against an employer where an employee is a party or a witness;
  7. Unfair selection for redundancy;
  8. An employee's pregnancy, attendance at ante-natal classes, giving birth or breastfeeding or any matters connected therewith;
  9. The exercise or proposed exercise by an employee of the right to any form of protective leave or natal care absence under the Maternity Protection Act, 1994, or the reduction of working hours due to breast-feeding;
  10. The exercise or contemplated exercise by an employee of the right to adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave under the Adoptive Leave Act, 1995;
  11. The exercise or proposed exercise by the employee of the right to parental leave or force majeure leave under and in accordance with the Parental Leave Act, 1998 and 2006;
  12. The exercise or proposed exercise by the employee of the right to carers leaves under and in accordance with the Carers Leave Act 2001

Employees claiming dismissal due to (a), (h), (i), (j) or (k) may bring an unfair dismissal claim even though they do not have one year's continuous service with their employer.

It can also be construed as dismissal if a person's conditions of work are made so difficult that s/he feels obliged to leave. This is called constructive dismissal. In most cases resigning should be the employee’s last option. It should not be considered until all available internal grievance procedures are exhausted.

If you feel that you may have been subject to an unfair dismissal or that your conditions of work are so that you feel obliged to leave, please contact us for information and advice.

Redundancy

Redundancy law is quite complex. It is very important for an employer to understand all the obligations under this area and for an employee to understand all entitlements.

A redundancy situation arises when:

  1. The employee’s job ceases to exist;
  2. S/he is not replaced.

This arises for such reasons as:

  1. The financial position of the company;
  2. Not enough work;
  3. Employer ceases trading;
  4. Employer re-organising business.

Employers are generally obliged to pay compensation to employees dismissed by reason of redundancy. This is called a Statutory Redundancy Payment. To be eligible for this payment, employees must have at least 2 years continuous service and be in insurable employment.

There are numerous nuances to redundancy law which both employer and employee should be aware of.

If you are an employer or an employee who is being affected by redundancy please contact us for information and advice.

Work related stress

Contract of Employment

Anyone who works for an employer in Ireland for a regular wage or salary automatically has a Contract of Employment, regardless of whether it is written or not. An employer, however, is obliged to provide an employee with a written statement of terms of employment within the first two months of the commencement of employment.

We provide assistance in drafting Contracts of Employment and workplace policies and procedures on all issues tailored to your own individual workplace requirements. This includes advice on policies relating to dismissal, entitlements, maternity/paternity leave, grievance procedure, harassment, bullying and other legal issues generally.

Health & Safety Issues

Both employers and employees have a number of duties under health and safety legislation, including providing a safe place of work and taking reasonable care to protect the health and safety of others.

Our firm provides advice and information on health and safety law and will draft policies to suit specific workplaces.

Property

Thomas Ryan & Co. have considerable expertise in dealing with all property issues and transactions including purchasing, selling or leasing houses, apartments, offices, business premises, factories or land. We also have a detailed knowledge of tax and stamp duty issues and ownership and title issues

Sale / Purchase

We will provide you with all the assistance and information you need in relation to the transaction. We will discuss the steps of the transaction with you, liaise with the estate agents and the other contracting party on your behalf and provide all other necessary services. Remember, it is not possible to fully complete a real property transaction in Ireland without assistance from a solicitor. Solicitors are the only persons specially trained in property transfer.

Re-mortgage

A re-mortgage occurs where the property owner with a single mortgage, takes out a mortgage with lower interest rates, and uses the proceeds to pay off the first mortgage.

Re-mortgages can be complicated, it is often prudent to obtain legal representation to deal with the lending institution.

If you are considering re-mortgaging your home please contact us.

Litigation

Our firm is skilled in resolving disputes, whether by way of litigation, mediation or arbitration, in a high quality and cost effective manner. We work closely with each client to ensure that matters are resolved to their satisfaction.

Personal Injuries*

If you have suffered a physical injury as a result of an accident, you may be entitled, under the law, to compensation for the injury or any loss caused as a result of the injury.

All claims for personal injuries must first be pursued through the Injuries Board (formerly PIAB), an independent statutory body which gives an independent assessment of personal injury claims for compensation following an accident. It will only give an assessment of compensation where the person responsible is not seeking a decision on liability, or, in other words, where legal issues are not disputed. If either you or the party responsible rejects the assessment the Board will issue you with an authorisation allowing you to make a claim through the civil courts.

Our firm is vastly experienced in offering advice to persons injured, corresponding with the Injuries Board and proceeding through the civil courts. It is important that you keep details of the time and place of the accident, all loss suffered (e.g. property damage, loss of earnings), medical reports and all medical bills and expenses.

If you have suffered a personal injury and you would like to make a claim, please contact us.

* By law, in contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Road Traffic Accidents

At the scene of an accident:

  • Stop the vehicle and call a doctor or ambulance where there is a personal injury,
  • It is very important to gather the name and address of the other driver, his/her registration number, the name/address of his/her insurance company, the insurance policy's expiration date, and information from any bystanders and witnesses.
  • It is wise to call the Gardai to report the accident as soon as possible, do not admit liability, talk about the accident or sign anything, even if you think you might be liable. It could be the other driver's fault, or you might be equally responsible.
  • Wait for the Gardai and give them your personal details but you do not have to give a statement without consulting your solicitor.
  • You should attend your doctor, even if feeling well, to be sure that you have not been injured in the accident.
  • It is advisable to contact a solicitor to prepare a statement for the Gardai and handle the insurance claim. It should be remembered that insurance companies will have their own legal advisers.

If you have been in a road traffic accident and would like our assistance to interact with your insurance company, the other party and their insurance company or to represent and advise you in any pending litigation please contact us.

Work Related Injuries

If you have suffered an injury at work, you can make a personal injury claim through the Injuries Board as outlined above.

Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence is the one area where a claim for a personal injury does not go through the Injuries Board. Where a person suffers an injury/loss through the act/omission of a medical professional and that act/omission is not one an average member of that profession would make, the professional will be liable to the person for the injury/loss. The relevant standard and the level of skill is that practiced and accepted by a responsible body of medical persons skilled in the particular area of medicine in question.

If you think you have suffered loss as a result of sub-standard medical care and you wish to make a claim in the civil courts please contact us.

Keywords: employment, employment law, harassment, law