Difficult questions remain especially for in-house counsel who select outside firms with the expectation that they will avoid conflicts of interest and protect their confidential information. Will companies be comfortable receiving legal counsel from firms that could be owned by their competitors? Will hedge funds end up controlling most large law firms? Certainly, lawyers who have had their employment terminated as a result of the global pandemic will not look kindly upon measures that permit non-lawyers to fill legal roles. Only time will tell as these experiments unfold.
“California could become the next state, after Utah, to establish a regulatory sandbox to explore new methods of delivering legal services, after the State Bar of California Board of Trustees voted 9-2 yesterday to form a working group to explore the development of such a sandbox. The working group will be charged with exploring the development of a regulatory sandbox to evaluate possible changes to existing laws and rules that may inhibit the development of innovative legal service delivery systems…This could include consideration of relaxing rules and laws regarding unauthorized practice of law, fee sharing, nonlawyer ownership and other legal restrictions.”
Read: California Bar Takes Giant Step Towards Regulatory Sandbox at LawSitesBlog