Simon Archer directs us to a Sydney Morning Herald piece from a couple of weeks ago reporting the public offering of shares in a law firm, Slater & Gordon Ltd., pretty much a first in the common law world. As Simon A. points out, Australia changed its laws to allow such public participation. The prime concern about letting law firms adopt this corporate financing model has to do with a potential conflict between a company’s duty to its shareholders to profit and lawyers’ duties to the client and the administration of justice. The SMH piece says that Slater & Gordon’s prospectus warns prospective investors that their interests will come third, after the two professional duties mentioned.
Do our readers think this prioritizing of aims can work?