May 02, 2019 Top Story

Lawyer Forfeits Contingency Cut for Violating Ethics Rules

Cocounsel fee-sharing agreement unenforceable absent client’s written consent

By Laura W. Givens

A fee-sharing agreement between attorneys from different firms and different states is unenforceable absent the client’s consent to the arrangement in writing.

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A fee agreement that does not comply with applicable ethical rules may be deemed a violation of public policy and therefore void and unenforceable. ABA Section of Litigation leaders urge knowledge of the ethical requirements in the applicable jurisdiction to avoid uncertainty about the enforceability of interstate fee-sharing arrangements.

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