A special committee of the Law Society has met to address allegations that applicants to the Residential Institutions Redress Board have been overcharged by solicitors.

In a statement, the committee said it was utterly appalled at reports that some solicitors have double-charged for work done for victims of institutional abuse.

The committee says it has set up a dedicated helpline, which will be advertised nationally, to help applicants who wish to make a complaint and it said all such complaints will be fast-tracked.

It says that where misconduct by solicitors is found it can apply sanctions, which include fines, suspension and in the most serious cases, striking-off.