ABA issues Formal Opinion 468 to help with sale of law practices
As chair of the ABA Law Practice Division, I organized a petition to try to have certain changes made to ABA Model Rule 1.17 to facilitate the sale of law practices. Today I received word that the ABA has issued Formal Opinion 468, which in part effectuates the desired changes . . . without the need for each jurisdiction to modify its rules. The opinion is posted to this blog post.
The summary of Opinion 468 states, with the key provision in Bold:
When a lawyer or law firm sells a law practice or an area of law practice under Rule 1.17, the seller must cease to engage in the private practice of law, or in the area of practice that has been sold, in the relevant jurisdiction or geographic area. But the selling lawyer or law firm may assist the buyer or buyers in the orderly transition of active client matters for a reasonable period after the closing of the sale. Neither the selling lawyer or law firm nor the purchasing lawyer or law firm may bill clients for time spent only on the transition of matters.