Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Non-Lawyer Ownership of Law Firms Is DOA, Says ABA

In a statement Monday, the co-heads of the ABA ethics committee considering the proposal pronounced it dead.
“Based on the commission’s extensive outreach, research, consultation, and the response of the profession, there does not appear to be a sufficient basis for recommending a change to ABA policy on nonlawyer ownership of law firms,” said Jamie Gorelick and Michael Traynor, who lead the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the proposal, noting that some in the profession were aghast at the idea, even as the U.K. and Australia have adopted much broader changes — including allowing outside investment through IPOs.

Prediction: If deregulation of the legal services in the U.K., Australia or elsewhere shows even a modicum of success, expect this issue to be appear again. And soon.



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