May 12, 1999
Mr. Sherwin Simmons
ABA Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice
541 North Fairbanks Court
Dear Mr. Simmons:
I am José Mª Martí European Financial Manager of NALCO ESPANOLA, S.A. and NALCO FRANCE, S.A.R.L. headquartered in Leiden (Holland). As a user of multidisciplinary professional firms, we would like to provide your Commission with examples of our experiences and explain why we believe that the ABA should change their rules to permit so-called MDPs.
In the highly competitive and global marketplace, we may choose to select a multidisciplinary firm that can provide a broad range of services from human resource consulting to risk management to legal services. We may choose to select an MDP because it is cost effective, not requiring us to monitor two separate staffs or pay two separate bills each month. Or we may choose to select a traditional law firm that specializes in a type of litigation presented by the case. The most important factor in each situation is the ability to choose the professional service providers best qualified to address the problems we face.
In recent years, we have found that very few of our problems are strictly legal. Almost every business problem has a legal aspect to it, and almost every aspect of our business is governed by government regulations. Furthermore, because we operate in several countries, we must be knowledgeable about laws and regulations in each jurisdiction in which we do business.
MDPs are often able to provide the advice to resolve business and legal issues associated with our complex corporate transactions. MDPs, with their full array of professional services and interdisciplinary teams, can dive into the substance of the matter, wasting little time on the mechanics of working together as a team.
One example of how the integrated solution of a multidisciplinary firm best suited us is the Three Party System implementation throughout Europe.
Thank you for allowing us to provide our comments to the Commission. We hope to someday retain MDPs in the United States to provide us our required counseling and advice.
Very truly yours,
José MS Martí