There has been much scrutiny in the banking and legal arena to “know your client.” It is important for everyone in every industry to know his or her client. Recently, it has become even more important to “know you lawyer.”
Current news about changes in the economy have stressed most all businesses and individuals in some way. Many professions have boards who monitor professional standards and codes of ethics. These boards are developed from within the profession and govern things like certifications and standards. These boards often set the standards in court as a guide for prosecutors and litigators.
When it comes to law, lawyers are bound the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Standards. However, the standards are likely to vary within the practice field causing proliferations of the rules for differing practice areas. Recently lawyers have sought to regulate the bar making them the advocates, the advisors and the gatekeepers as well. One lawyer is not determining how another lawyer should act ethically and morally.
Fragmentations within the American Bar tend to be handled by the federal courts leaving state regulations shattered and placing strain on attorneys and their practice fields. For example the codes in the past have left out the “model behavior” required of government lawyers and judges and tended to concentrate on regulating the private sector.
The field of Asset Protection covers multiple disciplines complying with state regulation differences and federal law policies. Asset Protection requires the coordination of practitioners, accountants and attorneys who specialize in the multiple fields such as business, trusts and estates, banking, insurance, wealth preservation and all sorts of other specific professional specialties.
For a client, this is both good and bad. It is good to weed out the specialists from those who just need the business. It is bad when the client employs an attorney, accountant or practitioner who is not an expert. Hence the rule, “know your attorney” and the carry over “know your practitioner.” This is not to bash attorneys, but to say that the standards require a lawyer to declare a specialty. Firms often cover this with different departments, each with their own speciality. Practitioners and accounts too may have specialties.
This brings the question, do you specialists cost more? For the most part, they do, but in the long run they pay for themselves in Wealth Preservation and Asset Protection. Asset Protection is a competitive business.
Every client is within their rights to perform due diligence and this means collect references, ask questions and ask for documentation. Though references may be difficult in a private industry, there are many ways of determining if a practitioner, accountant or attorney is worthy of your business.
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I am beginning the search for offshore banking and appreciate the site and this article.