Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1988/9-5

Letterhead Listing – Affiliated Law Firms

February 9, 1989


Two or more lawyers, each of whom is a sole practitioner, may affiliate so long as each attorney observes the requirements of Rules 1.6, 1.7, and 1.10, dealing respectively with confidentiality of information, conflict of interest, and imputed disqualification.  (Rules 1.6; 1.7; 1.10)

Two or more sole practitioner lawyers who have affiliated may so note on their letterhead in accord with Rules 7.1 and 7.5, as long as the lawyers, in fact, form and carry out the affiliation.  (Rules 7.1; 7.5)


May two or more lawyers, each of whom is a sole practitioner, affiliate to enhance the level of professional services, to ensure coverage, and to provide specialization, all of which will result from such affiliation, while permitting each lawyer the control, flexibility and initiative that result from a sole practice?  If so, may the lawyers use a letterhead bearing the following legend:  “A, B & C, an affiliation of law firms,” with each lawyer listed at the bottom of the letterhead as follows:  “Attorney A,” “Attorney B,” and “Law Office of C.”

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