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Fee-splitting—the term alone sounds ominous. Or perhaps that is simply because the legal profession has very strict prohibitions against splitting fees with non-lawyers. Yet, fee-splitting is not only prohibited for the legal profession, as the prohibition applies to other professions as well. Regardless of the context, it is not permitted, and agreements calling for such a prohibited fee-split are illegal. It is hornbook law that illegal agreements are unenforceable. So what happens when a client seeks to recover damages arising from a breach of such an agreement? Must the client be advised that the courts say “a plague on both your houses” and sent on their way? The answer is no, or, at least, not necessarily.

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