“The Assigned Certifier is the one in the lion’s den” Rory O’Donnell, solicitor

by Bregs Blog admin team


Rory O’Donnell, solicitor, is a former president of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, a former vice-president of the Law Society and a consultant to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Committee. He was the main author of the Law Society Practice note ‘Update on Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 issued in April.

In an interesting and very comprehensive interview Mr O’Donnell explains to “Self build and Improve Your Home” magazine (Winter 2014) what the future holds for the industry under BC(A)R SI.9. See complete online version of the magazine here (link to pages here– see pages 36- 41 inclusive).

Extract from article:

When CIRI becomes mandatory:

“according to the legislation, if the register is mandatory then the builder will have to be on the register, so unless the [self-building] owner is able to get on the register (among other things, the requirements include having previously worked on three projects) they will not be able to sign the statutory forms. Even if they were willing to sign the statutory forms I doubt that they would be able to get an Assigned Certifier to work with them. What this implies is that the owner will have to appoint a builder other than himself.”

On Completion Stage invalidations:

“This would be a potential disaster area for any property owner. The legal process is very unwieldy for taking action in these cases and while a claim for expenses may arise, that can often be a long, hard road. Every effort should be taken to ensure that this does not happen.”

On Architectural Technologists:

“Unless and until Architectural Technologists are formally recognised I do not see how anyone could recommend appointing someone, no matter how competent, with such a qualification in any important role  in connection with a building project to which these regulations apply.”

On claims to be made under the new regulations:

If there is a major problem, the person that is most likely to be sued is the Assigned Certifier. On the other hand as mentioned, solicitors will almost certainly advise that action be taken against all members of a team that could possibly be liable for a problem.

If  CIRI becomes mandatory, who will be liable for faulty work undertaken by a self-builder?”

Before and after the most likely person to be held to account is the Assigned Certifier because his work is the most onerous part of the project. The Assigned Certifier is the one in the lion’s den.

Other Law Society Posts:

S.I. 9 | Your Questions for the Law Society

Law Society : Certifier is single point of responsibility

Law Society of Ireland Update on BC(A)R SI.9 | BRegs Blog

Law Society response to self-builders

Self builders escalate to Law Society: BC(A)R SI.9 

New Law Society Guidance Note on BC(A)R SI.9

BC(A)R SI.9 and Law Society of Ireland? 

Other posts of interest:

S.I.9 – Where are we now? 27 October 2014 

Design Certifier | RIAI advise separate appointment

SCSI: SI9 is “positive change”

3 must-read posts for employees

SI9 Schedule of duties for Certifiers

SI.9 costs for a typical house

€ 5 billion | The extraordinary cost of S.I.9 self-certification by 2020

Commencement Notices – Update | 22 October 2014

Residential construction down in 2014 Q1+ Q2: (CSO statistics)