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NUMBER 398 JULY 1950
Question. An individual who is both a C.P.A. and a lawyer has formed a partnership with a layman for the practice of public accounting. May the lawyer conduct his independent law practice from the same office?
Answer. [Note: The following opinion was adopted as the joint opinion of the Committee on Professional Ethics of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, but has not been passed upon by either Association.]
It is our opinion that the attorney may not conduct his law practice from the same office in which his partnership is practicing accounting without violating Canon 27. The proposed arrangements would inevitably serve as a feeder of the attorney’s practice (see Opinion 272 of the American Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics and Grievances, October 25, 1946).
This is not inconsistent with Opinion 743 of the Committee on Professional Ethics of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, or Opinion 388 of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, expressing the opinion that two lawyer- accountants may properly practice law and accounting from the same offices “provided that [they] in the practice of their profession as certified public accountants adhere to the professional standards applicable to attorneys at law with respect to advertising and solicitation.” In the instant case, since one of the partners is not a lawyer and is therefore not subject to such rules of conduct governing the legal profession, the necessary safeguards would not exist and so the arrangement which is the subject of the present inquiry cannot be approved.