Arizona’s 2021 Rule changes now permit Arizona lawyers to form law firms with nonlawyers as owners/investors/partners. These “Alternative Business Structure” (ABS) Law Firms are regulated by the Arizona Supreme Court. Applicants must complete online application forms that require disclosures of ownership interests, policies and procedures to assure ethics observance, and how the applicant law firm will support the regulatory objectives of the ABS program.
Lynda advises applicants on how to comply with the regulatory application disclosures, as well as assisting with drafting policies, procedures, and training modules to assure that all authorized persons, employees, agents, and service providers comply with the legal ethical obligations of confidentiality, conflict checking, trust accounting, competent representation, and representation of clients consistent with the lawyers’ obligations to use their independent professional judgment on behalf of the clients.
Lynda consults on ABS firm compliance audits and creating firm programs to assure conformity with the ABS Code of Conduct as set forth in ACJA §7-209. She also advises lawyers admitted in other jurisdictions about how they might associate with ABS firms, even if their jurisdictions do not permit nonlawyer investment in law firms.