Thursday, May 5, 2011

Relaxed Conflicts Rules -- Are "Sophisticated" Clients on Board?

Last week came news that a group of 23 large law firms is lobbying the ABA for a separate set of professional conflicts rules applicable to large, sophisticated clients. Such clients would be identified by factors such as:
  • “…whether a firm is publicly traded, the size of its balance sheet, the number of jurisdictions in which it operates, and how much it uses legal services.”
This week comes news that the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the largest professional group serving the interests of attorneys practicing in corporate law departments, is throwing its weight behind the idea.

The ACC had previously called for "more uniform bar rules governing lawyer mobility, multijurisdictional practice, and the unauthorized practice of law." Its general counsel was recently interviewed in an article published in Corporate Counsel magazine which provides additional detail:
  • "Hackett said the ACC would be sending a letter to the American Bar Association in support of the general concepts. 'And we plan to join with them in conversations to move the issue forward... What we have is a series of rules governing practice -- ABA rules, and state bar ethics rules -- designed in a model that is completely unrecognizable for what we do today. They were created back when Abraham Lincoln still rode the circuit on horseback.'

No comments:

Post a Comment