German MDPs: Lessons to Learn

Laurel Terry


This article is the third of four major articles or book chapters that I have written about MDPs. This article focuses on German multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) between lawyers and accountants. The German MDP experience is important because Germany is one of the few jurisdictions that expressly permits MDPs and because conferences about World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services (the GATS) have cited to Germany when suggesting that other countries' MDP bans may be unnecessarily restrictive. After introducing common MDP regulatory issues, this article focuses on Germany. The article explains Germany's current regulation of MDPs and provides a brief history of this regulatory development. The article then presents empirical and anecdotal data about the ways in which MDPs function in Germany. The article concludes by offering recommendations about German MDP rules worth emulating.