“Are you sharing fees with another firm, trial counsel, or local counsel? You probably need prior written consent from your client, an Advise and Consent Form.”
Most jurisdictions require you to advise the client of fee splitting with another firm. Furthermore, before work is done by the associated firm, your client must consent to your use of the new firm.
As an example of what the states require of you, the Texas Disciplinary Rules, Rule 1.04, states in part:
- “(f) A division or arrangement for division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if: ….. and
- (2) the client consents in writings to the terms of the arrangement prior to the time of the association or referral proposed, including:
- (i) the identity of all lawyers or law firms who will participate in the fee-sharing agreement, and
- (ii) whether fees will be divided based on the proportion of services performed or by lawyers agreeing to assume joint responsibility for the representation, and
- (iii) the share of the fee that each lawyer or law firm will receive or, if the division is based on the proportion of services performed, the basis on which the division will be made;
The requirement of prior disclosure and consent by the client is ethically logical. Fee sharing is presumably an indication of shared or divided responsibility to do the work for which the client had hired and requested only the original attorneys to do the work. So even if you did not have a rule requiring the client’s consent, it’s the ethical and proper course for an attorney seeking to associate another firm.
You should read your own jurisdiction’s rules on association of attorneys, fee splitting, and consent by, or advice to, the client regarding the association. Especially notice if you can split fees and/or responsibility, and if so, in what amount and manner. However, once it is decided that you and the associated firm can split fees and/or responsibility, you still need to inform the client and get the client’s consent. Our Consent by Client to Association of Attorneys is probably sufficient in your jurisdiction for the purpose of advising the client and obtaining the written consent of the client.
Three big points:
- Client’s Consent to Association of Attorneys gives you a standard form for your office that is easily used, and keeps your entire staff using a standard form. Forms keep you and your staff from wasted time “reinventing the wheel”.
- Client’s Consent to Association of Attorneys gives you the confidence of knowing that you have documented the client’s prior consent. (Just the feeling of knowing you have eliminated a cause for complaint if the associated attorney makes mistake must be worth the small price of this form.)
- Client’s Consent to Association of Attorneys is a very low investment that pays for itself with time saved, over and over again.
Do not miss the prior disclosure and client consent requirement of your jurisdiction. A form for disclosure and client consent should be in your office’s toolbox of forms. This legal form is designed for attorneys in any type of litigation, and on either side of the counsel table.
We are selling the Client’s Consent to Association of Attorneys for only $13. That’s cheaper than you can dictate your own first draft of what you need.
This form pays for itself in time saved alone, without even considering the advantages of having a standard form in your office toolbox of forms. Click the “Add To Cart” button to get Client’s Consent to Association of Attorneys!