Attorney Referral Fees in Utah - A Complete Guide


How to Ethically Share Fees With Other Utah Attorneys

The law in Utah is in flux, so please return for updates on this topic in the future.

Up until the 2020 revision of Utah’s Rules of Professional Conduct, Utah followed the ABA Model Rules and required fee divisions between lawyers in different firms to be based on the proportion of services rendered or joint responsibility being assumed.

In 2020, however, this portion of the rules was repealed, but not replaced. This deletion was in contemplation of a proposed rule that would more directly address referral fees, however, that rule was tabled. There is currently a pause on referral fees to nonlawyers and no rule prohibiting fee sharing between attorneys.

During the committee’s August 2023 meeting, draft language was put forward to include both referral fees and fee sharing in the state’s ethics rules. The proposed rules would differentiate fee sharing (between attorneys working on a matter together) and referral fees.

If passed, the proposed changes would make Utah unique in that the rules would again allow fee sharing between attorneys and law firms but also allow fee sharing with nonlawyers. As of 2023, Arizona is the only state that allows fee sharing with nonlawyers.

The suggested revisions would also move Utah’s rules on referral fees from Rule 1.5, where most states have their rules of referral fees, to Rule 5.4 and 5.8.

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