Century Law Group, LLP Century Law Group, llp

Keen CA State Bar focus: fee splitting with non-attorney partners


That might logically be one apt adjective relevant to the parameters of so-called “non-attorney fee splitting” in California.

State Bar authorities have a problem with any scenario in which a licensed California attorney shares fees with a nonlawyer in a client matter.

That concern is understandable, of course. Competent client representation presupposes assistance from an individual who has successfully completed years of professional training and is officially licensed to practice law. Persons who fall short of such attainments are obviously not up to the task. The state’s prohibition against them practicing law and its tandem bar precluding attorneys from splitting fees with them is both logical and well-placed.

Bar action spotlighting non-attorney fee sharing was recently on display in a disciplinary matter involving one Los Angeles lawyer accused of violating professional rules of conduct applicable to fee sharing with a non-practitioner.

That case clearly spotlighted multiple instances where the attorney impermissibly gave client money to a nonlawyer third party and/or allowed staff members within that entity to collect and keep client funds. The attorney admitted to wrongdoing (in prior matters as well) and was slapped with a one-year license suspension.

Not all matters involving fee splitting are as clear, though. Sometimes the line between a third party’s assisting a lawyer and that party actually engaging in the practice of law can be blurry. The State Bar acknowledges that. A recent article on the subject matter notes that California legal regulators are presently considering approval of fee splitting “in certain circumstances.”

We underscore the complexity that often attaches in attorney disciplinary matters before the bar on our website at the Century Law Group. Our attorneys provide proven and aggressive license-defense representation to California lawyers from multiple legal offices spanning the state.

We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to work diligently on behalf of diverse and valued professional license holders facing challenges from regulatory authorities.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Contact Our Firm Today »

Contact Our Los Angeles, San Diego Or Northern California Law Offices

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Los Angeles Office
5200 West Century Boulevard
Suite 345
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Toll Free: 800-465-4192
Phone: 310-693-6097
Fax: 310-642-6910
Map & Directions

Northern California Office
10100 Fair Oaks Boulevard
Suite D
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Toll Free: 800-465-4192
Phone: 310-693-6097
Fax: 310-642-6910
Map & Directions

Local 310-693-6097 | Toll Free 800-465-4192 | fax 310-642-6910