The infamous remark by Dick the butcher, the “plotter of treachery” in Shakespeare’s King Henry VI—“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”—was a message from Shakespeare that really means don’t kill the lawyers; they may be our last line of defense. The same idea holds true for broker-dealers and investment advisors seeking to avoid overbearing regulatory oversight by seeking advice from third-party compliance consultants (CCs) rather than traditional legal counsel: Do not get rid of the lawyer; the lawyer may be your last line of defense. This article acknowledges the utility of CCs to create economic efficiencies for financial services firms (FSFs) but suggests that careful adherence to the traditional elements of the attorney-client privilege are still required to preserve important client protections and defenses.
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