Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: Attorney Loss

Five Signs Your Law Firm Needs New Energy

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Law firms that lack energy dim their prospects for the future.  Too often law firms pass over the issue of their own vibrancy (whether by a failure of recognition or simple indifference) and plod along without taking corrective action.  A becalmed law firm, especially in these times of legal industry disruption, is flirting with danger.… Continue Reading

Law Firm Departures 2016/2017: A Likely Source of Disputes

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
(As many law firms see their fiscal year close simultaneously with the calendar year-end, the risk of partner departures rise.  The lessons identified in the March 2015 blog Law Firm Departures: A Likely Source of Disputes have not lost their relevance as 2016 closes and 2017 begins.  That blog is reprinted here in its entirely) Most law firms… Continue Reading

Law Firms and Retiring Partners-The Issues Extend Beyond the Financial Ones

Posted in Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
At a growing number of law firms, the Boomer generation is reaching the age when retirement among the ranks has partners leaving in increasing numbers. Recent writings, including Debra Cassens Weiss‘ As Baby Boomer partners retire, law firms face increasing costs and client issues, have noted the numerous and significant financial issues for law firms… Continue Reading

Law Firm Lateral Hiring: Preparing for the Upcoming Free Agent Season

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition
As law firms prepare for the last half of 2016, the ingredients for the lateral hiring stew are being added. Firm and individual lawyer performance on the year, bonus expectations and realization, internal law firm management and politics-all will be factors in determining individual lawyer contentment. The same factors, viewed from management’s perspective, will drive… Continue Reading

Lexit: How to Respond to Lawyer Exodus from Your Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Modest attrition at law firms is to be expected-it happens continually and few firms are exempt. But when the lawyer departures spike, or the particular resignations are from your most important lawyers, management must respond quickly. Lawyer departures don’t just happen for any reason. Unexpected and damaging departures often can be traced to problems a… Continue Reading

Boomer Law Firms: Some Demographic Challenges

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Ward Bower’s Existential Threats to Law Firms provides an excellent review about a few of the economic and demographic issues that threaten today’s law firms. As Mr. Bower notes, some of the law firms previously fixtures in league tables and in the AmLaw 200 have either failed, been acquired or otherwise have disappeared from view-all… Continue Reading

Kirkland’s Attrition is a Case Study for All Law Firms, Big and Small

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
The American Lawyer article about recent attrition at Kirkland & Ellis gained attention in no small part because Kirkland’s reputation for success runs counter to the idea that people want to leave. While departures from even the most successful firms is inevitable, the depth of attrition at Kirkland reported by The American Lawyer was surprising.… Continue Reading

Like Divorce, Law Firm Crisis is More Likely as the New Year Starts-Reprised

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
(This post previously appeared on January 15, 2015 and noted some of the similarities between marital divorce and one of the more extreme forms of law firm transition-breakup.  As we reach the end of 2015, for some firms the joy of another year completed may be supplanted by the tension and stress that often accompanies a… Continue Reading

Lawyer Exodus From the Law Firm: Don’t Get Mad, or Even, Get Focused

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Unexpected lawyer departures from a law firm are a far too common occurrence as noted by Above the Law’s recent reporting on K&L Gates.  It can happen at any time during the year but many times peaks around the end of a fiscal year.  Whether it be disappointing financial results, political infighting, loss of confidence… 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

There is a Lot More to Law Firm Succession Planning Than Just Planning

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
A recent ABA Journal article reported on the demise of a successful law firm that had been in business for 60 years. The story about Harding & Shultz of Lincoln, Nebraska noted comments from one of the senior partners whose departure from the firm allegedly contributed to its demise. Seems that the senior partner, still… Continue Reading

Law Firm Departures: A Likely Source of Disputes

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Transition
Most law firms approach their practices optimistically-with a kind of “glass is half-full” outlook.  Getting business, building client relationships and creating a brand typically are a firm’s focus rather than thinking about failure or disaster.  That is especially so when law firms form.  Future developments like mass departures or dissolution usually do not enter into… Continue Reading

Strategic Attorney Departure-Deciding to Not Join in Your Law Firm’s Merger

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers have continued this year and are approaching last year’s record. For law firms, any number of motivations can lead to merger, but the common denominator is the perception that merger serves the greater good. Despite the onslaught of mergers, a vast number of mergers are less than perfect. And while a merger may… Continue Reading

Unwanted Law Firm Departures While Negotiating a Merger-A Test of Leadership

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers seemingly are announced weekly and continue a trend as to which most observers are accustomed.  Just last week Locke Lord and Edwards Wildman Palmer jointly announced the signing of a letter of intent to combine their two firms. Not all law firm mergers are marriages of equals, or instances when the strategic… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning: Facing a Contracting Market

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
In a recent post about law firm succession planning, I observed  “Succession planning and execution in 2014 is far more difficult than it was a decade or more ago. It is not that it is harder today to identify credible candidates to succeed existing leadership; searching for the best talent is a task that has not… Continue Reading
.