A report before the meeting outlines a model of mixed partnerships called ‘solicitors plus’.
Non-solicitors will be allowed to become partners of law firms, though the plan envisages that solicitors will control the all-in-one practices.
Digby Jones, the Director-General of the CBI and lawyer who joined KPMG in Birmingham, told solicitors at their conference last weekend to stop debating whether to allow mixed partnerships.
He said: ‘The world has moved on. Life has gone past this argument. It’s going to happen so move on and start looking at how you are going to regulate it.’
The move comes as solicitors face increasing competition not only from the big accountancy firms but potentially from supermarkets and chain stores.
In October, Arthur Andersen hit out against a Dutch ban on MDPs, and in July a working party for the Scottish Law Society concluded that MDPs would not be in the interests of clients.
At the same time members of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted against fee sharing partnersips.
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