These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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11-"Of Counsel" Relationship

55-Firm Names and Letterhead

A retired lawyer may be listed as "of counsel" to a firm even though the retired lawyer is not actively practicing law, as long as the lawyer "remains associated with the firm and available for occasional consultations." The designation would be improper if the retired lawyer's association "was limited to a pure business affiliation" or to "either the development of business or the management of the firm's business activities." The Bar quoted earlier LEOs as indicating that the "of counsel" relationship "turns on the actual practice of law and is not satisfied by a mere business or financial relationship with the firm, a sporadic affiliation over time, or the status of a forwarder or receiver of legal business."

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn