NYC Bar Committee Chair: Some TPLF Arrangements "Run Afoul" Of Ethics Rules

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August 21, 2018

Professor Bruce Green, the chair of the New York City Bar’s Committee on Professional Ethics, told Legal Newsline in Forbes “that some ways of funding lawyers, financing lawyers, run afoul of the fee-splitting” guidelines.

The committee issued a formal opinion on July 30 regarding how and if the practice of third party litigation funding violates the ethics of fee-splitting. While Green said the association is not necessarily concerned about the practice itself, the opinion did say that “when non-lawyers have a stake in legal fees from particular matters, they have an incentive or ability to improperly influence the lawyer."

The opinion also “forbids” arrangements that are “ implicit that the lawyer will pay the funder only if the lawyer receives legal fees" or if a funder’s take is based on the amount of fees.