NY Bar Calls For 'Safe Harbor' Rule On Fee-Based Referrals

Law360 (March 3, 2020, 8:53 PM EST) -- The New York County Lawyers Association voiced support Tuesday for a new "safe harbor" ethics rule to allow lawyers to sign on clients through for-profit, online referral services.

Citing "ferment" in the legal market and a growing chasm between those needing lower-cost legal help and the inability of many attorneys to reach them, the Manhattan-centric bar group also recommended that a legal barrier on nonlawyers splitting fees with attorneys be eliminated. 

The reforms would let for-profit legal referral or matching services, known as FPLMS, share "in any financial up-side" from legal fees generated by lawyers using them, and thus spur investment in the...

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