- the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or, by written agreement with the client, each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
- the client is advised of the share that each lawyer is to receive and does not object to the participation of all the lawyers involved; and
- the total fee is reasonable.
The purpose of Rule 1.5(e) is “to protect clients from the payment of referral fees which could unfairly inflate their bills by allowing attorneys to collect payment for little or no work, and this purpose is not implicated where the attorneys dividing the fee have both done some work on the case and there is no suggestion that the client’s fee is inflated or unreasonable.”
So “as long as both attorneys have done some work on the case beyond signing and referring the client, the courts will not engage in the cumbersome task of evaluating after the fact the relative contributions made by the bickering attorneys.” Id.