Multidisciplinary Practice Groups (MDPs) are businesses that offer both legal and non-legal services. The non-legal services are typically as accounting services, financial planning, social work, etc.
MDPs are big in Europe but not in the U.S. because state ethics laws prohibit (a) lawyers from sharing fees with non-lawyers and (b) non-lawyers from owning U.S. businesses that provide legal services to clients.
American Bar Association: In March 2000, the American Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice recommended that the ABA amend its Model Rules of Professional Conduct to permit MDPs . However, in July 2000, the ABA voted to reject that proposal. For the Commission's report, the ABA's response and related information, visit the Commission's page on the ABA Web site (A HREF="http://www.abanet.org/cpr/multicom.html">www.abanet.org/cpr/multicom.html).
New York: In April 2000, the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on the Law Governing Structure and Operation released the "MacCrate Report," officially titled Preserving the Core Values of the American Legal Profession: The Place of Multidisciplinary Practice in the Law Governing Lawyers. In 2001, the New York Appellate Division adopted rules proposed by New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) that regulate lawyers participation in MDPs.
Materials related to New York MDP regulations can be purchased from the New York Legislative Service (212-962-2826).