Monday, August 27, 2012

On Managing Conflicts of Interest Globally

A reader sent word of an interesting article recently published in the Fordham Law Review: "Regulating Conflicts of Interest in Global Law Firms: Peace in Our Time?"
  • "While globalization has no doubt brought positive developments for me, it has created significant challenges for others. As clients increasingly seek specialist advice at competitive prices, traditional professional values are more and more at odds with lawyers’ commercial interests and with the commercial interests of a highly privileged client group. Some have questioned whether the emergence of a commercially given professional paradigm is the best way forward.Others have described globalization as a “slippery concept” that fundamentally challenges the jurisdiction and authority of regulators. The global expansion of legal practice has prompted several jurisdictions to consider how their own legal services markets should be regulated in an ever-increasing global economy."
  • "Yet, although significant attention has been paid to factors that drive cross-border legal work, only limited scholarly consideration has been given to the practicalities of regulating the day-to-day practice of law on an international scale."
  • "This Article attempts to 'shed light' on methods of regulating the conduct of lawyers in the context of a reasonably well-defined area of difficulty for the global law firm—namely, conflicts of interest. By focusing on just one area of cross-border practice and by describing the particular difficulties experienced by lawyers, regulators, and clients, we hope to inform the debate on how best to regulate lawyers in a global environment."

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