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City Bar Ethics Opinion Offers Guidance on Use of PEOs (New York Law Journal)

New York Law Journal, March 11, 2015

City Bar Ethics Opinion Offers Guidance on Use of PEOs

Professional employer organizations, entities being tapped by mid-size and smaller firms to lower the cost of employee benefits and human resource functions, are the subject of a recent ethics opinion by the New York City Bar Association….”It’s certainly a growing trend among small businesses and I’ve been hearing more about it with law firms,” said Nicole Hyland, the chair of the city bar’s professional ethics committee….In a February opinion, the city bar ethics committee said the concern for New York lawyers is whether using a PEO is consistent with a lawyer’s ethical obligations under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, including duties to maintain professional independence, supervise lawyers and nonlawyers, preserve confidential information and not share legal fees with nonlawyers. According to the opinion, a New York law firm is ethically permitted to use PEO services as long as the firm sets limits.

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