In a nice piece on Forbes today, attorney Robert W. Wood of Wood LLP explains how to structure an attorney-accountant relationship in order to keep the accountant’s knowledge of a potentially-sketchy financial situation part of the attorney-client privilege.
In sensitive tax matters, the answer to this quandary is the Kovel letter, named after United States v. Kovel. Your tax lawyer hires an accountant. In effect, the accountant is doing your tax accounting and return preparation, but reporting as a subcontractor to your lawyer.
Could this work for other subcontracted service providers? Presumably, although Mr. Wood does not address that potential or whether there needs to be specific case law supporting it as there is for accountants.
Read Neat Trick? Attorney-Client Privilege From an Accountant on Forbes.com.
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