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Section/Rule:4- 5. 4
Subject: Rule 4 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Rules of Professional Conduct Publication / Adopted Date:September 28, 1993
Topic:Law Firms and Associations - Professional Independence of a LawyerRevised / Effective Date:July 1, 2007


(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit if:
(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.

[1] Rule 4-5.4 express traditional limitations on sharing fees. These limitations are to protect the lawyer's professional independence of judgment. Where someone other than the client pays the lawyer's fee or salary, or recommends employment of the lawyer, that arrangement does not modify the lawyer's obligation to the client. As stated in Rule 4-5.4(c), such arrangements should not interfere with the lawyer's professional judgment.

[2] Rule 4-5.4 also expresses traditional limitations on permitting a third party to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering legal services to another. See also Rule 4-1.8(f) (lawyer may accept compensation from a third party as long as there is no interference with the lawyer's independent professional judgment and the client gives informed consent).

(Amended Sept. 28, 1993, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Dec. 1, 1994, eff. July 1, 1995, Rev. July 1, 2007)