When a lawyer moves from one firm to another, it can be a fairly dramatic event.
The ethical issues for the lawyer and for his or her prior firm and new firm are substantial. There are issues of when and how to communicate to clients and whether it's done by the lawyer or the firm. There are issues of ongoing matters and what to do with client files. In ongoing litigation or transactional matters, do lawyers withdraw pending a client decision about whether to move the matter to the lawyer's next firm? Is withdrawal even permitted?
There are also issues of conflicts of interest and how they are managed – for the lawyer who is changing law firm affiliation and for the firms involved.
This program provides a practical guide to ethical issues when lawyers change law firm affiliation.
- Ethical issues when lawyers change law firm affiliation
- Propriety and timing of communications with the departing lawyer's clients – by the lawyer or the firm?
- Ownership and transfer of client files among law firms
- Ongoing litigation or transactional matters – is withdrawal permissible?
- Diligence for the new firm– conflicts, confidentiality, and screening
- Issues when a solo practitioner joins a multi-lawyer firm