LAW 565-001 – Professional Responsibility

Nonlawyer Fee Sharing


  1. A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
    1. an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;
    2. a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;
    3. a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and
    4. a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.
  2. A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.
  3. A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
  4. A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:
    1. a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
    2. a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation ; or
    3. a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.