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. 
 Back to main menu

  Print This Leo
LEO NumTopicsSummary

11-"Of Counsel" Relationship

13-Marketing - Miscellaneous

Law firms may use the term "affiliated" or "associated" in describing their relationship, as long as one firm is "closely associated or connected with the other lawyer or firm in an ongoing and regular relationship." The terms are analogous to the "of counsel" relationship, which "must be close and regular, continuing and semi-permanent, and not merely that of a forwarder-receiver of legal business." It may be necessary for the law firms to use "more descriptive language" if the relationship between them involves one firm's limited availability to handle certain types of matters, or availability to handle matters in another state. Law firms using these terms must also ordinarily handle conflict as if they were one single firm.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn