90 N.J.L.J. 749
November 16, 1967
of Fees Charged Lender
This inquiry asks whether it is ethical for the lender's
attorney to accept from the borrower payment for the attorney's
services to the lender, even though the borrower is advised to
retain his own attorney to look after his interests.
In this Committee's Opinion 27, 87 N.J.L.J. 97 (1964), we held that, where the attorney fixes the fee according to the standards of Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 12, and in a manner consistent with the requirements of In re Ramp, 40 N.J. 588 (1963), it is proper for the parties to arrange that the fees of the seller's attorney for services rendered to the seller be paid by the buyer as part of the purchase contract. In that opinion we recognized the practice of requiring a borrower to pay for the services of the lender's attorney rendered for the lender as ethical, provided it is clear that the borrower understands that the lender's attorney is representing the lender and not the borrower.
We assume that in this inquiry the requirements of In re Ramp, supra, will be met. Hence, we conclude that the action is ethical. The fact that the lender requires the payment of its attorney's fees does not affect the result. See this Committee's Opinions 93, 89 N.J.L.J. 248 (1966), and 110, 90 N.J.L.J. 297 (1967).