About Our Firm

We are business and ethics lawyers for California law firms.

At O’Rielly & Roche LLP, our practice focuses exclusively on serving California law firms and law-related businesses, when comprehensive experience and an outside perspective is needed.

Our Firm

Law firm partners and managers are called upon to do a lot. Most have responsibility for administrative and management functions at the firm while also running their own busy practices, meeting the demands of clients, managing attorney and staff teams, and supporting their colleagues.

This means that law firm partners don’t always have the time they might like to dedicate to proper management of their law firms. Client work always comes first, as it should, and law firm practice management, law firm risk management, and compliance can seem like a distant second. Even sophisticated in-house counsel needs independent advice and guidance on both long term strategies and issues that require immediate attention.

That’s where we come in. Our law firm is exclusively focused on counseling and advising California law firms on the legal, ethical, and risk management issues they face day in and day out—and that’s the fundamental reason why we’re different. We understand law firms. Our exclusive focus, our ability to think creatively, the wide-ranging experience of our attorneys, and the discretion with which we treat our clients’ sensitive information gives those we serve a distinct advantage. All of this means that, in the vast array of legal issues affecting law firms, attorneys, and law-related businesses in California, we provide Counsel on Point.

Exclusive Focus: We have the ability to identify, address, and resolve potentially serious risks to our clients’ businesses because that’s all we focus on.

Creative Thinking: Our attorneys bring energy, vigor, fresh ideas, and a unique perspective—born of experience—to the challenges our clients face.

Diverse Experience: Every member of our team has diverse experience as a lawyer. We draw on the perspective gained through this wide-ranging experience to cover all the bases.

Discretion: Because of our boutique size and exclusive practice focus, clients can be confident that their matters will be handled with the utmost discretion and their information will remain within the four walls of our firm.

Our Practice

Our clients seek our advice and counsel on questions related to law firm risk management, law firm advice and planning, and law firm transitions:

  • Law firm General Counsel. We serve as an outside General Counsel to California law firms, providing comprehensive risk management counsel for law firms in the critical functions for law firm risk management:
    • managing and resolving real-time legal and ethical issues that arise in law practice;
    • managing and resolving partner and firm transitions;
    • identifying and implementing law firm risk management best practices.
  • Law firm formation and structure. We counsel and advise California law firms on strategic formation, structure, and policy issues, including:
    • developing and drafting partnership agreements and other firm organizing documents;
    • developing and documenting partner compensation systems, attorney promotion systems, and partner retirement systems; and
    • developing and executing law firm start-up planning and law firm growth planning.
  • Law firm transitions, partner departures, and dissolution. We counsel and advise California law firms in connection with law firm transitions:
    • partner or group departures;
    • acquiring lateral partners or groups;
    • managing and navigating law firm mergers; and
    • law firm dissolution, winding up, and partnership terminations.
  • Law-related businesses. We counsel and advise California law-related businesses operating in the legal industry on compliance, regulatory, structure, and operations issues for alternative legal-service providers, including:
    • compliance with California legal and ethics rules;
    • California State Bar regulatory compliance;
    • entity structure for lawyer- and non-lawyer owned law-related businesses; and
    • fee agreements and fee sharing issues, legal marketing and sales, advertising and solicitation, and billing and administrative service agreements.
  • Law firm advice and planning. We counsel and advise California law firms on strategic compliance and policy issues, including:
    • creating, revising, and implementing law firm organizing documents and systems;
    • managing and implementing legal ethics compliance systems;
    • identifying and implementing law firm risk management best practices.

Who We Serve

The specific situations in which our clients call upon us are varied and multi-faceted, but all involve the legal, ethical, and risk management issues facing law firms, attorneys, and law-related businesses. The types of clients we serve include:

  • Small to Mid-Sized Law Firms: Many small to mid-sized law firms in California lack a dedicated in-house general counsel, and turn to O’Rielly & Roche LLP for ongoing support. We help firms proactively plan and take action to mitigate risks and react to fast-developing events, such as partner departures and legal ethics issues, as they arise.
  • Large Law Firms: Large law firms based in California or with California offices, which typically have robust in-house general counsel capabilities, engage O’Rielly & Roche LLP for a fresh, independent perspective rooted in our attorneys’ deep experience analyzing and resolving legal and ethical issues that large law firms face routinely, including avoiding and resolving conflicts, avoiding disqualification motions, structuring and documenting fee agreements, common interest agreements, partner separation agreements, and similar critical functions.
  • Law-Related Businesses: Technology has ushered in a new age of legal services and the legal marketplace is quickly expanding, offering unconventional avenues for connecting attorneys with consumers. O’Rielly & Roche LLP has been on the forefront of providing legal ethics and risk management consulting to lawyer and non-lawyer owned Alternative Legal Service Providers.

Learn More

Learn more about the legal, ethical, and risk management services we provide to law firms and law-related businesses in California: