Money for Nothing? Best Practices for Referral and Fee Splitting Agreements
It is an everyday occurrence. Attorneys refer cases to one another and then collect the fees for those same referrals. Client referrals and the income generated from fee-splitting agreements are not only an important revenue stream but also serve to assist those clients in need of quality legal representation when the attorneys are unable to take on all prospects themselves as a result of unavailability, retirement, or differing practice areas. However, these fees are not simply easy and risk-free money; there are strict requirements that the referring attorney must satisfy in order to collect the referral fee, and proactive risk management pertaining to fee splitting agreements is critical. The failure to meet these requirements may result in an ethical violation, may cause the loss of the fee, and may result in vicarious liability being placed upon the referring attorney for the misdeeds or negligence of the working attorney ultimately involving the referring attorney in a legal malpractice matter or disciplinary proceeding.
To read more, click here to download the article.