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Accountants Can Soon Become Law Firm Partners, Across the Pond

In just a few months, the U.K.'s Legal Services Act will take effect, opening the door for non-lawyer professionals like accountants to become partners in law firms, according to Accountancy Age. Under the new law, up to 25 percent of a law firm partnership may be comprised of non-lawyers. And law firms are readying themselves to embrace the change, with four in five law firms reporting that they expect to partner up with other professionals after the law passes.

Why would lawyers want to share their hard-earned profits with non-lawyers? To me, that's a no-brainer. Letting lawyers team up with professionals in complementary fields -- such as accountants, environmental engineers or investment bankers -- enables them to diversify and expand the types of services provided to clients, including the rates charged. As I wrote earlier this week at MyShingle, that type of diversification has been lacking at large firms to date, and perhaps could have provided a hedge against the current downturn.

Do you think we'll see non-lawyers with a corner office at American law firms anytime soon? Post your comments below.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 4, 2008 at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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