Equity Billing Arrangements: An Ethical Conundrum
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
This paper at the outset, sheds light on the emergence of ‘equity billing arrangements’, wherein lawyers and law firms are reimbursed through equity in a company instead of cash, for legal services rendered. This paper at the preliminary level seeks to understand the legal regulation surrounding equity billing arrangements, from the its inception in the United States to its governance in India. The paper will delve into the professional rules for lawyers in both countries, and analyze the respective provisions that regulate legal compensation. Following the establishment of its legal position in both countries, this paper deliberates the ethical issues arising from this billing arrangement, and the obligations it poses on lawyers and companies alike. Lastly, this paper establishes the need for clarification by the Indian regulators on the legitimacy of these arrangements, and the manner in which they ought to take place.