Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Category Archives: Law Firm Liquidation

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Five Keys to an Effective Law Firm Divorce-Being Smart When the Thrill is Gone

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Transition
“A discord of personalities” sometimes describes the genesis for marital divorce.  It also can be an apt way to explain law firm break-ups when partners decide to go their separate ways.  Although law firm break-ups happen regularly, the low level of publicity surrounding most can be due to partners acting rationally even though they can’t… Continue Reading

Avoiding the Unplanned Law Firm Closure-Five Steps Every Law Firm Should Take

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
As the calendar year comes to a close, there is a lot to do at most law firms. Activities like collecting bills, distributing profits and casting next year’s budget can occupy many a leadership team. The tasks at hand can be time consuming and all engrossing. Given the importance of these short-term issues, thinking about… Continue Reading

Law Firms With Diverging Interests-Five Notions For Law Firms “Calling it a Day”

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Succession planning is an issue that many law firm managers worry about. They ask whether their firm has done enough planning, whether the pool of successors is deep and whether the firm will be stable when transition to new leadership happens. Because succession planning is so important to many of today’s law firm leaders, we’ve… Continue Reading

No Muss No Fuss Law Firm Closure

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Growth among law firms generates headlines. Legal publications report on a merger here, a planting of a law firm flag there and the lateral moves of significant practice groups. The thing about growth is that it is a planned exercise-an initiative that is a matter of choice based on strategy. The opposite of growth, a… Continue Reading

Part 2 – Selling Your Law Practice – Succession Planning

Posted in Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
  This is the second in a two part series addressing the idea of selling your law practice as part of a succession plan. Part one addressed issues related to defining personal objectives, compliance with local bar rules, and practice valuation. In this post we will look at three remaining considerations: Finding a buyer, Negotiating… Continue Reading

Distressed Law Firm Acquisitions-The Times May Be Perfect (Part Two)

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
As reviewed in Part One last week, the example of the Morgan Lewis/Bingham McCutchen mass lateral transaction may serve to stimulate the pursuit of distressed firms by healthy firms. Although distressed law firm transactions are nothing new, the model of that deal plus two new legal developments may foster greater distressed law firm activity. The first… Continue Reading

For Law Firms Everywhere, These Are Transitional Times

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want. – Kristin Armstrong   The recent closing of the Toledo, Ohio law firm of Cooper and Kowalski provides another reminder of the… Continue Reading

Shutting Down the Law Firm in Decline

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Uncategorized
Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. – Herman Hesse   This is the final post in a series examining law firm decline, inspired by the Jim Collins book, How the Mighty Fall. See the previous four post: Overconfidence and Law Firm Decline, Aggressive Growth and Law… Continue Reading

Closing the Troubled Law Firm-Picking the Right Team

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Transition
Closing a law firm is a formidable task. The existing management team, prepared for running a going concern, is often unprepared for the various challenges that arise as the firm is wound down. Even though it is advisable for a closing firm to obtain outside assistance, a small but dedicated group from the firm must… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing What Law Firms Can Learn from Dewey with LXBN TV

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Transition
Following up on my recent post on the matter, I had the opportunity to discuss the lessons other law firms can learn from the Dewey LeBoeuf collapse and indictments with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In the video interview (click here), I explain what law firms can take away from the situation and what Dewey really… Continue Reading

Dewey Indictments: A Tale of Leadership Collapse

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
A lot has been written about the indictments handed down against the former Dewey leadership. To review, they are accused of manipulating the Dewey books and falsely representing Dewey’s financial condition, presumably for the purpose of keeping the Dewey ship afloat when it started taking on water in 2008. Unfortunately for these former leaders and… Continue Reading

Dewey Indictments: A Lesson to be Learned

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Last week’s indictments of four individuals formerly involved in Dewey LeBoeuf’s management reverberated through the legal industry. The reactions were varied. Some commentators surmised that the indicted were destined to such fate given the spectacular demise of Dewey. Others noted that the indictments were different since the alleged perpetrators gained no financial reward but instead… Continue Reading

Closing the Troubled Law Firm: When is it Time to Say When?

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
History is littered with failed law firms. Dewey, Howrey, Thelen and most recently, the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie, succumbed for various reasons. In the case of most of these failed law firms, the decision to cease as a going concern was largely reactive as they fell apart at the seams. While no troubled law… Continue Reading

Heenan Blaikie: “There but for the grace of God, go I” –John Bradford

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Last week’s decision by major Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie to dissolve received a lot of coverage in the Canadian press as well as among legal commentators. Yet discounting its demise as being peculiarly Canadian is unwise. The market and competitive dynamics that contribute to a Canadian law firm’s success or failure are very similar… Continue Reading

What is a Law Firm in Transition

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
  The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.  — Steve Jobs Welcome to our blog – Managing Law Firm Transition – Thoughts on Leading High Consequence Change. There is no… Continue Reading
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