Law Firm Management: Different Types of Engagement Letters, Referral Fees, and Trust Accounting


CLE Credits earned: 2 GEN

One of the most important factors in the success or failure of your law firm is your ability to run the firm by the numbers – ensuring that your firm’s accounting is sound, keeping strict trust accounting records to avoid bar sanctions and liability, and maintaining bar compliance when dealing with referral fees. We also review best practices and examples to develop effective engagement letters for your firm.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Different Types of Engagement Letters
•   The Different Rules Governing Referral Fees
•   Trust Account Management
•   Accounting Principles for Running a Law Firm

Date / Time: July 13, 2018

•   10:00 am – 12:00 pm Eastern
•   9:00 am – 11:00 am Central
•   8:00 am – 10:00 am Mountain
•   7:00 am – 9:00 am Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
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Original Broadcast Date: July 13, 2018

Eric Gros-Dubois, Esq. is the founder of EPGD Business Law. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients.

Before founding EPGD, Mr. Gros-Dubois’s areas of concentration included business transactions, tax controversies, and estate & trust planning. While at a prominent firm located in Washington, DC, his path led him to Miami, FL where he handled commercial transactions and business litigation. Beyond his experience in these practices, he spent a summer with a non-profit organization, interned with a private equity group, and devoted a semester to the Federal Tax clinic representing taxpayers before the U.S. Tax Courts. Essentially laying the foundation for the future of EPGD Business Law.

When asked to identify his thoughts on practicing law, Eric answers without hesitation: “People aren’t hiring us to solve legal problems, they’re hiring us to solve personal problems.” With his hands on approach, Eric builds strong client-attorney relationships and finds himself intimately involved in each of his cases even after they’ve been resolved. Despite his heavy work schedule, Eric still finds the time to be an outstanding member of the community as a Trustee of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, former president of the Rotary Club of Brickell, past vice president of BNI Coral Gables, past president of his Home Owner’s Association, and supports many fundraisers devoted to the community. Eric has also been a regular speaker for MyLawCLE, The American Immigration Lawyers Association, and more.

Brian A. George, Esq. is the Managing Partner of CALAS Group LLC, a globally recognized Accounting and Financial Services firm, with three locations in Florida, as well as two international offices. A 20+ year expert of the industry, he specializes in providing small to medium size business owners a fixed fee-based relationship to their accounting and tax preparation needs so that they can concentrate on growing their bottom line versus the paperwork/regulations.

Mr. George has dealt with a wide range of business operations, including: law firms, hotels, manufacturers; contractors; wholesale and retail operations, and other service organizations. Mr. George has previously worked for Merrill Lynch, Solomon Smith Barney and BrookStreet Securities with titles as Vice President and ultimately as a Residential Branch Manager for 11 offices in South and Central America.

Mr. George, is a Certified Financial Manager and received his Associates Degree in Accounting Technology from Miami Dade College; Dual Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and International Business from American University, Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, Certificate in Operations Management from Universitarias Nebrisensis, FIBA-FIU Certification in Anti-Money Laundering and his Doctoral Degree from University of Phoenix.

A recognized adjunct professor for various institutions including American University in Washington DC; Mr. George brings a passion for learning and assisting others in the community. Mr. George is combat veteran and continues to serve as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, specializing in counter threat finance methods to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately destroy transnational criminal/terrorist organizations.

Mr. George is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Coral Gables Bar Association, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Vendors Network, and Venezuelan Business Council.

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Section I. Introduction

Section II. Engagement Letters
a) Best Practices and Policies/Procedures
        i. ABA, Florida, D.C., NY, and MD Rules
b) Sample Engagement Letter Review
c) Types of Engagement Letters
        i. Hourly
        ii. Contingency
        iii. Flat Fee – (Florida Law example)
        iv. Evergreen
        v. Others
d) Kovel Letters

Section III. Referral Fees
a) Rules
        i. ABA, FL, NY, DC, Maryland rules on referral fees.

Section IV. Trust Accounting
a) Florida Rules
b) Case Studies on Bar Disciplinary Actions

Section V. Running a Law Firm by the Numbers – Brian George of CALAS Group
a) Changing Relationship with Numbers
b) 6 Key Numbers Every Entrepreneur Should Know
c) Friendly Financials
d) Pricing
e) Payroll

Section VI. Conclusion