A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;
(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;
(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement;
(4) subject to full disclosure and court approval, a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained, or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter; and
(5) a lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer the proportion of the total compensation that fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer.
A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.
A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:
(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
(2) a nonlawyer possesses governance authority, unless permitted by the Minnesota Professional Firms Act; or
(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
(Amended effective January 1, 1996; amended effective for all lawyer conduct occurring on or after August 1, 1999; amended effective October 1, 2005.)