In a move that could make the rivalry between law firms and the Big Five accounting giants even more ferocious, a closely watched American Bar Association commission next week will recommend that attorneys be allowed to share fees with nonlawyers, one member says.

The proposal would allow law partnerships to add accountants, consultants, and other professionals. It thus drills to the core of a crucial strategic issue facing law firms: how to hold their own against the major accounting firms, which are increasingly grabbing business from lawyers by offering consulting and quasi-legal services to their clients.

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