Use of "Of Counsel" Title for Lawyers in Foreign Countries

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A recent ethics opinion issued by the New York City Bar Professional Ethics Committee offers important new guidance to New York law firms on use of the "of counsel" title for lawyers who work in foreign countries. The opinion states that a New York law firm can designate as "of counsel" a New York attorney who resides and practices law overseas, provided the firm complies with three criteria. First, the "of counsel" lawyer must have a "continuing relationship" with the law firm. Second, the use of the "of counsel" title must not be false or misleading in other respects. Third, an "of counsel" lawyer's practice must not constitute the unauthorized practice of law in the foreign country. This article discusses those three criteria in more detail.

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