Law Firm Management News February 2013 - Market demand – a key driver of the multidisciplinary approach to legal services

CONFERENCE REPORT

IBA Annual Conference

Dublin
30 September – 5 October 2012

 

Monday 1 October
0430 – 1730
Market demand – a key driver of the multidisciplinary approach to legal services

Session Co-Chairs
Alain Chedal, Landwell & Associés, Paris
Hermann J Knott, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne

Speakers
Linfei Liu, Junhe Law Offices, Beijing
Nicolas Herrera, Guyer& Regules, Montevideo
Paul Olney, Slaughter & May, London
Raffaele Caldarone, NCTM, Milan
Margaret Stack, A&L Goodbody, Dublin
Michael Roch, KermaPartners, London


The session was organised around a case study of the GC of a multinational corporation requesting multidisciplinary services in the context of the envisaged carve-out and subsequent disposal of a business unit. The panellists (except Mcihael Roch) made presentations in which they analysed to what extent the services could be rendered by one single entity or whether several entities had to cooperate. Michael Roch made an introductory presentation in which he described the structure of an MDP practice consisting of a professional holding company with the financial and legal service provider being organised as separate subsidiaries.

The country presentations related to the regulatory framework and practice in Ireland, China (in both jurisdictions MDP offerings are not common), Central and South America (fee sharing between lawyers and accountants is allowed in most jurisdictions), England (while the SRA does now allow alternative business structures, it would be recommended to choose an ‘agency’ structure according to which the project leader would engage the other service providers as an agent for the client), Italy (having introduced the concept of societátra professionisti) and France (where multi-disciplinary networks are well recognised).

The various national laws showed some significant differences in the approach to multi-disciplinary services.