The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 70-29

October 15, 1970
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
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.

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Attention, however, is directed to Florida Opinions 66-64 [since withdrawn] and 69-30
[since withdrawn], wherein it is indicated the term “of counsel” is not one of precision, but such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.