Thursday, May 3, 2007

Delaware Ethics Opinion On Pennsylvania LLP Practice

A recent Delaware Bar ethics opinion concludes that partners in a Pennsylvania LLP composed of licensed attorneys that is considering formation of a Pennsylvania limited liability company that "will qualify in Delaware as a foreign limited liability company and engage in the practice of law in Delaware" will not violate Delaware Rule 1.5(e) regarding fee divisions between lawyers who are not in the same firm. Nor will the arrangement violate Rule 5.4, which prohibits forming partnerships and sharing fees with non-lawyers. The opinion notes that the arrangement must comply with Delaware Supreme Court Rule 12(d) which requires a bona fide office in Delaware. A concurring opinion finds the majority approach to the issue to be confused and "fails in its more holistic purpose to provide guidance." (Mike Frisch)

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