Friday, July 3, 2020
A recent opinion of the District of Columbia Bar's Legal Ethics Committee
Ethics Opinion 378
Acceptance of Cryptocurrency as Payment for Legal Fees
It is not unethical for a lawyer to accept cryptocurrency in lieu of more traditional forms of payment, so long as the fee is reasonable. A lawyer who accepts cryptocurrency as an advance fee on services yet to be rendered, however, must ensure that the fee arrangement is reasonable, objectively fair to the client, and has been agreed to only after the client has been informed in writing of its implications and given the opportunity to seek independent counsel. Additionally, a lawyer who takes possession of a client's cryptocurrency, either as an advance fee or in settlement of a client's claims, must also take competent and reasonable security precautions to safeguard that property.