The Florida Bar

October 15, 1970

Whether a Florida attorney may be “of counsel” to or a partner in a law firm in a foreign country is to be determined by the appropriate authority of that jurisdiction.

Opinions: 66-64, 69-30

Chairman Massey stated the opinion of the committee:

A Florida Bar member inquires if he may become “of counsel” to a partnership of lawyers who practice in a foreign country. Further, the question is posed whether The Florida Bar member may enter into a partnership with said lawyers, none of whom are admitted to practice in The Florida Bar.

The Committee assumes that there will be no office of such “foreign” partnership within the state of Florida, nor will there be any holding out of performance of legal services within Florida. Under such assumptions, the questions raised are not within this Committee's jurisdiction and the issues of being “of counsel” or a partner within such firm are necessarily to be answered by the foreign country within which the practice is conducted.

Attention, however, is directed to Florida Opinions 66-64 [since withdrawn] and 69-30 [since withdrawn], wherein it is indicated the term “of counsel” is not one of precision, but such appellation should not be used in professional relationships which may be subject to misinterpretation. Normally a person who is “of counsel” becomes so because of former membership in or association with the same firm.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]