The Irish government is to ban solicitors from advertising for compensation business, in response to complaints that they are encouraging spurious claims and pushing up premiums.

New regulations by Justice Minister Michael McDowell will restrict advertising to solicitors' general services and expressly prohibit any reference to personal injuries or claims for damages. He warned that such advertising was fuelling the compensation culture.

Irish businesses have been pressing for the ban for more than two years.

The regulations, backed by the Irish Law Society, are likely to be in place by November.

The society admitted the "ambulance chasing" image given by advertising damaged the public standing of the profession.

According to the society, less than 5% of Ireland's 6,000 practising solicitors advertise for compensation cases.

But there are numerous advertisements in the Yellow Pages, offering to pursue claims on a no-win, no-fee basis.