Informal Opinion Number: 2020-12

Adoption Date: 2020

Rules: 4-1.5
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Subject: Fees - Division of Fees; Of Counsel
Summary: division of fees not applicable to Of Counsel

What requirements govern a firm’s division of fees with Attorney who is associated with the firm in an Of Counsel relationship?

ANSWER: If Attorney’s association with the firm is accurately characterized as an Of Counsel relationship (see Informal Opinion 2020-11), Rule 4-1.5(e) does not regulate the division of a fee between the firm and Attorney. Instead, the fee must comply with the remaining provisions of Rule 4-1.5, as must any fee charged by any other lawyer associated with the firm.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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