Mon, Jan. 16, 2006

Law Firm as Stock Corporation

.   The Handelsblatt newspaper summarizes today a ruling by the federal supreme court in Karlsruhe that law firms structured as stock corporations violate German professional rules in the event that their shareholders may also hold memberships in additional entities. The concern can arise when law firms maintain local or regional entities with individual lawyers who are also stockholders in a larger superstructure. The stock corporation as an organizational vehicle is not objectionable. The by-laws of an Aktiengesellschaft comprised of lawyers may not permit its shareholders, however, to participate in other entities. The decision is not yet available at the court's website. Handakte WebLawg mirrors excerpts of the report but also lacks details or an analysis of the holding. The issue originated with the Hamburg bar.

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