Reviewing regulations for lawyer/non-lawyer partnerships

A major element of legal services is the avoidance of any appearance of a conflict of interest. When you hire an attorney in Florida, they must provide you with the best representation that is free of any influence from obligations to or affiliations with other clients and/or organizations. One aspect of their work where such connections may come into play is in client procurement. While having a trusted company or professional partner steer you towards an attorney with whom they share a business relationship may seem appealing, the last thing that you want is to rely on a lawyer who answers to a non-legal professional. Many of the clients that we here at St. Denis & Davey PA have worked with in the past can attest to this fact.

Per Rule 5.4(b) of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer cannot form a professional partnership with a non-lawyer if an element of that partnership will include the practice of law. While such partnership may be permissible in situations where an attorney offers legal advice short of actual representation, it expressly discourages professional associations such as: 

  • Publicly-traded law firms
  • Non-lawyer investment in or ownership of law firms
  • Multidisciplinary practices

Why would the ABA prohibit such a practice? The aforementioned rule goes on to state that a lawyer cannot allow a non-legal professional who recommends, employs or pays them for legal services to influence their practice of the law in any way. Such influence could potentially impact the professional duty that an attorney owes to you and other clients. 

You can learn more about the professional standards attorneys are expected to uphold by continuing to explore our site. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email us for a response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy



Jacksonville Office
1300 Riverplace Boulevard
Suite 401
Jacksonville, FL 32207

Toll Free: 866-542-1996
Phone: 904-396-1996
Fax: 904-396-1991
Map & Directions

Miami Office
1395 Brickell Avenue
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-200-8674
Phone: 305-200-8675
Fax: 305-200-8801
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach - By Appointment Only
301 Clematis Street
Suite 300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-832-5991
Fax: 561-832-5985
Map & Directions

Panama City Office
305 Cherry Street
Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-481-1386
Fax: 850-640-1247
Map & Directions

Tampa Office
10150 Highland Manor Drive
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33610

Fax: 813-314-2163
Map & Directions