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July 01, 2022

Attorney Fee-Sharing Arrangement Ends Up in Court

It is not uncommon for lawyers from different firms to agree to work together on a matter and share client fees. ABA Model Rule 1.5 specifically addresses this and requires, among other things, that the client agrees to the arrangement in writing, specifying the share of the fees each lawyer will receive. When fee-sharing is not established in accordance with the Model Rule and applicable state rules and law, the issue may end up in court. Such is the case of Edelson PC v. Girardi where Edelson is seeking to obtain a share of attorney’s fees from Girardi in a case where Edelson claims it acted as co-counsel. Girardi claims that the clients did not consent to the fee-sharing arrangement until after the case had settled. Since the fee-sharing agreement did not comply with the rules of professional conduct or state law, Girardi claims, Edelson is not entitled to any share of the fees.

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