Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: law firm crisis

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

Five Leadership Steps for Confronting Law Firm Crisis

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm crisis can surface at any time.  Its roots can be deep within the firm, or can be the outcome of unforeseen developments. However, or whenever it arises, the affected law firm must react promptly and strategically. A tardy reaction, or a misstep in action, can leave a firm in great danger and on… Continue Reading

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

No Law Firm Succession Plan? Five Options

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
A Forbes article entitled Law Firm Leadership Survey:  Top Strategic Initiatives of 2017 shared some interesting information about the burning and not so burning issues for today’s law firm leaders.  The information was assembled through the work of David J. Parnell (the author of the Forbes article) and noted legal consultant Patrick J. McKenna. The… Continue Reading

Small Law Firms and Rough Seas-Navigating the Years Ahead

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
As December ends and January dawns, report cards on the legal profession are issued and crystal balls are studied. This year is no different with many articles offering assessments of the industry’s current state and its prospects. Two pieces recently written about the industry’s present and the future are worth review. Mark A. Cohen’s Something’s… 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

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

Managing Excess Law Firm Growth-Spinning Off the Struggling Office

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm growth is a popular strategy or tactic among law firms seeking to compete in today’s ultra competitive legal services market.  Growth often is achieved through mergers, practice group acquisitions and lateral hiring.  And in some cases, the growth initiatives result in new offices being opened in markets previously not served.  New offices create… 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

Addressing Your Law Firm’s Declining Demand Through Change-Five Considerations

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Although pockets of law firms are enjoying increased demand, revenues and profitability, the general news about the industry as a whole is tepid. A recent article by Chris Mondics about law firm financial performance cites a common problem these days of law firms lacking enough work to keep their lawyers busy. The article (drawing on… Continue Reading

A Five Step Process For Turning Around the Small to Medium Sized Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
Bold headlines tend to focus on the spectacular failures. But consequential transition — even crisis — are equally traumatic for the small to medium sized law firm. Given the fact that fewer partners must carry the load, the impact across the smaller firm may be even more intensely felt. If you are part of the… 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

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

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

Law Firm Succession Planning-The Aging Partner Ranks

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Law firms planning for succession cannot rest easy even when the “next-in-line” process is settled or the next leader selected. No doubt thinking about these things is vitally important for a law firm hoping to weather transition. But it is just part of the task of succession planning. One area of succession planning given short… Continue Reading
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