Ethical Issues and Liability Risks of Shared Space

A number of companies (such as ServCorp, Regus, and WeWork) offer options ranging from occasional access to co-working spaces to leases on private offices within shared suites, typically with several hours’ use of a conference room per month included and the ability to rent conferences rooms and private offices at an additional charge.  These company’s prices and services vary widely.

Anyone considering working in any type of shared space should be aware of ethical issues and potential liability risks these arrangements can present.  Attorneys in a shared space must be particularly careful to protect client confidentiality and to avoid holding themselves out to be part of the same law firm as the other attorneys working in the shared space (or allowing the other attorneys to implying an affiliation).  If clients or third parties have reason to believe you are affiliated with other attorneys working in the same space, you may be held liable for those attorneys’ conduct.