Out-of-State In House Counsels Can Now Advise Clients in NY

By Adam Ramirez on April 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Inevitably, most in-house attorneys at large outfits will get sent on business to New York.

Now those in house counsels who are not licensed to practice law in New York will nevertheless be able to offer legal advice in the state under new rules adopted by the Court of Appeals.

The rules approved by the state's highest court, codified as 22 NYCRR Part 522, will allow out-of-state lawyers to provide counsel to private corporations, associations or other legal entities operating in New York, as well as to their employees, directors or officers.

The new rules will go into effect on April 20.

The new rules are intended to solidify New York's status as a center of commercial enterprise in the United States by making it easier for national and international companies to operate here, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said.

"By accommodating the growing need for the provision of in-house services, the new registration rules give New York a competitive edge in attracting corporations and other entities that in the past may have been reticent to locate here because of concerns over the unauthorized practice of law," Judge Lippman said in a statement.

As is the norm elsewhere in the country, the out-of-state lawyers must be in good standing in their home states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia to win registration within their Appellate Division department.

The rules require lawyers seeking special registration as in-house counsels to pay New York's biennial $375 registration fee, meet the state's continuing legal education requirements and be subject to its disciplinary rules.

"The new rules appropriately reflected the realities of modern practice, and we believe they will strengthen the high standards of our bar," city bar president Samuel W. Seymour of Sullivan & Cromwell said in a statement, the New York Law Journal reports.

The attorneys will not be allowed to provide legal services to the general public, appear before agencies or other tribunals, or provide pro bono services.

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