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Venable partner Kevin Shepherd was quoted in a May 8, 2012 Law360 article on a proposed rule by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) establishing uniform standards for banks and other financial institutions to determine the real owners of accounts. The American Bar Association (ABA) believes the proposed rule could force attorneys to violate attorney-client privileges.

In a comment letter by the ABA, Shepherd, chair of the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession, said, “Because law firms routinely open trust accounts for the express purpose of holding funds in trust for their clients — or simply deposit advance fees and expenses received from their clients into the law firm’s existing trust accounts — lawyers and law firms would be unable to make this type of statement without violating their ethical duties under [ABA standards] and the corresponding state court ethical rules.”