Should law firms predicate their mergers upon client interests?
The paper linked below was presented by Robert Millard at the Saïd Business School Professional Services Firm conference held in Boston, Massachusetts on 12-13 August 2019, immediately after the Academy of Management annual conference. It draws together elements of Stakeholder theory and the literature of legal ethics, so try to provide an answer to this question.
Furthermore, to the economic and ordinary moral imperatives that might exist might also be added a societal imperative. Society has clothed lawyers and their firms with a measure of protection from market forces, to safeguard the special relationship required of lawyers toward their clients and the role that this plays in upholding the rule of law. The resulting social contract is articulated in rules and codes such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s Handbook in the United Kingdom (SRA 2018) and the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the United States (ABA 2018).
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