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Ethics of Co-Counsel and Referral Relationships

Co-counsel and referral relationships are common in law practice. Lawyers associate with other lawyers on cases to gain specialized knowledge required for competent representation in a case. Litigation counsel may seek local counsel on a case in another jurisdiction. Lawyers also refer out business for a variety of reasons, including overflow work or the work is outside of a lawyer’s core competencies.

These any many other co-counsel and referral relationships, however, raise substantial ethical and malpractice issues.

This program provides a framework for understanding the ethical issues surrounding co-counsel and referral relationships.

  • Duty to supervise counsel to whom you have referred work
  • Associating with other lawyers or firms to gain competence in specific areas
  • Fee splitting in co-counsel or referral relationships
  • Liability to co-counsel for breaches of fiduciary duty or malpractice
  • Liability for errors of co-counsel
  • Duty to inform of malpractice by co-counsel

Friday, June 11, 2021
1:00–2:00 PM


  • Brian S. Faughnan, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC, Memphis, TN
  • William Freivogel, Freivogel Ethics Consulting, Chicago, IL

June 11, 2021

North Carolina: 1.00 MCLE Hour

1.00 Ethics/Professional Responsibility


See pricing below.