• Delaware Allows Limited Long-Term Practice by Foreign Counsel
  • May 9, 2008
  • Law Firm: Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP - Chicago Office
  • Delaware Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(d)

    Brief Summary
    Lawyers admitted in foreign jurisdictions may practice in Delaware as in-house counsel.

    Complete Summary
    Delaware RPC 5.5(d) has been amended to state:

    A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, or in a foreign jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:

    (1) are provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates after compliance with Supreme Court Rule 55.1(a)(1) and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission ***.

    (Amendment in italics.)   Comment[5] to subsection (d) makes clear that foreign lawyers may establish a systematic and continuous presence in Delaware for these purposes.  Nonetheless, subsection (d)(1) does not allow the provision of legal services to an employer’s individual officers or employees. Delaware RPC 5.5, Comment [16].

    Not surprisingly, lawyers who practice under subsection (d)(1) will be subject to Delaware disciplinary authority.

    Significance
    This amendment is a significant step in the trend toward more relaxed and realistic multijurisdictional and multinational practice rules.