Reducing legal costs in Ireland remains the only demand of the Troika that has not been implemented, according to Independent4Change TD Clare Daly.

Ms Daly said: "According to the National Competitiveness Council legal service prices were 8.3% higher in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2012". 

She was speaking as the chair of the new Legal Services Regulatory Authority, Don Thornill, and the CEO, Brian Doherty, appeared before the Oireachtas Justice Committee today.

The new body to regulate the legal profession has said frameworks will be in place this year which could see barristers and solicitors eventually working under the same roof. 

The committee was told that the frameworks necessary for proposed Legal Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships will be in place before the end of the third quarter of the year.

"Any reform in this area would be fundamental one," Mr Thornhill said. 

In his opening statement to the committee, Mr Thornhill said the new authority had the potential to act "as an agent of significant change in the landscape for the provision of legal services".

The committee was also told that the authority would look after complaints relating to members of the legal profession by quarter two of next year.

The authority is to be funded by a levy on legal practitioners - both solicitors and barristers.

It is made up of 11 members, with six lay members and a lay chair and five members of the legal profession.