The Florida Bar

July 18, 1961

It is not improper for a lawyer's office and a CPA's office to be located in the same building, and for them to share the services of a secretary, and possibly telephone, so long as the arrangement is not used to channel legal work to the attorney.

Canon: 27
Opinions: 59-3, 59-6, 59-16, 60-37

Chairman Holcomb stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar submits a question as to whether it would be ethical for a Florida attorney to share space with a CPA. The member states that he contemplates moving into larger office space and has a close personal friend who is a CPA, and would like to share the cost of rent and other common office expenses, and that the CPA would occupy his own private office, keeping his files and clients entirely separate from the lawyer's, the only common ground being the use of the secretary and the sharing of space, and possibly telephone.

Our Committee rendered its Opinion 60-37 concerning the sharing of space in a suite of offices maintained by an insurance and real estate broker by an attorney. We also call attention to the statement contained in “Your Privileges and Responsibilities as a Lawyer in Florida” on page 28, wherein it is suggested that it is not improper for a practicing attorney to share a reception room and receptionist with a real estate broker or insurance agent, provided that the use thereof was not used for channeling legal work to, or feeding the law practice of the attorney. In Opinion 59-6 [since withdrawn], we held it was improper for a lawyer who is also a CPA to practice both professions from the same office in which he conducted his law business. In Opinion 59-16 [since withdrawn], we held that it would be improper for a lawyer to conduct a real estate business from the same office as his law business.

Under the circumstances presented we do not believe there would be any impropriety in sharing offices with a CPA friend.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]