Cassandra Burke Robertson, a professor at Case Western Reserve School of Law and an expert on verein models, said it was particularly poignant that the court opinion specifically noted that Dentons, in spite of the verein structure, does have a common conflict-checking system, and that the firm does share confidential information between members of the verein.

“This is where a potential conflict of interest should be imputed to the larger structure,” said Robertson. “But I don’t think that all vereins operate like this. Some do not share confidential client information among their members and don’t have a common conflict space. In those, the conflict shouldn’t be imputed to the larger entity.”