- Multi-disciplinary practices (‘MDP’) are a relatively new type of law practice structure where solicitors and non-solicitors offer clients a ‘one stop shop’ to buy a number of professional services.
- The application of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015 gives rise to unique issues in an MDP.
- In the context of MDPs, there are important operational issues and questions surrounding the application of ethical rules, management of conflicts and informed consent, and success fee arrangements.
As the structures by which legal services are delivered to clients evolve and change, the Uniform Law permits a relatively new type of unincorporated legal structure known colloquially as a Multi-Disciplinary Practice (‘MDP’).
The MDP structure allows solicitors to come together with non-solicitors and offer clients a ‘one stop shop’ for a number of professional services. The most common combinations are law firms offering tax, consulting and forensic services, or accounting firms offering legal services. The MDP structure enables the sharing of profits, risk and information with non-solicitors. At the time of writing there are over 30 MDPs in New South Wales.
The application of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015 (‘Conduct Rules’) gives rise to unique issues in an MDP given the combination of legal and non-legal practices.