Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: Leadership succession

Law Firm Succession Planning-Things Small Firms Can Do Just Like the Big Firms

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
Is the grass greener on the other side?  Some small firm leaders envy perceived advantages enjoyed by bigger firms.  Leadership at big firms likewise can be found yearning for simpler times when their firms were smaller and the issues seemed simpler.  Regardless of size, all law firms must work hard to succeed, especially in a… Continue Reading

Finding Your Next Law Firm Leader-What to Look for?

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
  The legal services industry is awash with profitability challenges, calls for innovation, and non-traditional entrants.  Long-time law firm clients are expecting more from their law firms at the same time they weigh the option of moving work in-house or assigning it to alternative providers.  Since 2008 flat demand and financial stress have fueled reactive… 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

Four Signs Your Law Firm is Not Ready for Leadership Succession

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
At many law firms that recognize the need for succession planning, preparation for leadership succession receives too little attention. Succession planning can languish for various reasons. In some instances, the press of regular law firm business distracts existing leadership from the issue. In other cases, the topic is an uncomfortable one so discussions are avoided.… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession-A Future Leader’s Job Description

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
The topic of law firm succession is a hot one-discussed daily by commentators and law firm leaders alike. Of course, succession comes in two primary forms; client relationship succession and leadership succession. For many firm leaders, client relationship succession seems to have a heightened priority. But given the changing nature of the legal industry, a… Continue Reading

Law Firms in the Year Ahead-Is a Good 2017 That Much of a Good Thing?

Posted in Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
 Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Thompson Reuters released their annual report on the state of the legal market last week and it is, as always, informative. The 2017 Peer Monitor Report is chock full of data and analysis respecting the tendencies in the legal market. While one might conclude… 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 Firm Succession Planning and the Millennial Generation-Covering Achilles’ Heel

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Last week saw Vault.com release its 2017 survey of the best law firms to work for and O’Melveny and Myers is the new reigning champion. Among quality of life factors that matter to many of today’s associates, the firm scored first in satisfaction and honors, and placed second in firm culture, leadership transparency and substantive… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger or Combination-A Solution That Can Suit Many Situations

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
As we have seen recently, law firm combinations have continued at a brisk pace. In layman’s terms, most of the combinations are referred to as mergers although many are at best “merger-like.” Indeed, “true” mergers appear to be the exception and not the rule as law firm combinations continue to be announced. Gina Passarella wrote… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession-Key Elements for Today and Tomorrow

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Law firms today and in the future must deal with a shifting legal services market that makes succession a more formidable task.  Succession is not simply finding a way to deliver the gold watch with dignity and promoting firm-wide acclamation for the new leader.  No, it is a lot more as recent reports and analyses… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-What Does the Future Hold?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Law firm succession, whether leadership or client focused, has been an issue for law firms for a long time.  Recent articles written about the legal industry suggest that succession will be different if not more difficult in the future. At the risk of waxing about the “good old days,” it is arguable that operating a… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-Preparing for the Difficult Conversation

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Aric Press’ recent piece on lawyer retirement is excellent in identifying some of the subtle challenges for law firms dealing with Boomer departure.  Press’ Is it Time for You to Go, Joe? describes the difficult conversation faced by law firm leadership seeking to transition senior lawyers and their practices. Press goes on to observe five… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning 2015: Leadership’s Hidden Challenge (Part Two)

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
As discussed in my last post, Law Firm Succession Planning 2015: Leadership’s Hidden Challenge (Part One), the confluence of upbeat economic news with generational differences in the lawyer ranks presents a problem for law firm leaders not having an institutional succession plan.  The issue is not just theoretical-Altman Weil’s 2015 Law Firms in Transition report… Continue Reading

Five Important Objectives For Law Firms Dealing with the Generational Challenge in Succession Planning

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Passing on leadership to the next generation at small to medium law firms can be a challenge. These firms give themselves the greatest chance of success for eventual transition if they identify future leadership early and take the time to nurture the best prospects before succession presents itself. Taking on this blocking and tackling is… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning: An Alternative

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Leon Shapiro’s recent “How to Improve Your Organization’s Succession Planning” in Executive Street: The Business Leader’s Resource, reviewed the state of succession planning among many business organizations. Mr. Shapiro’s article noted the near universal recognition of its importance among business leaders, yet their confession that in many cases not enough is done for its preparation.… 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

Succession Planning at the Smaller Law Firm-Getting it Done

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
It is no wonder why a lot is written about law firm succession planning.  Transferring a law firm onto the next generation so the institution endures is the ideal for most but unattainable for many.  Sue Remley’s Succession Planning:  How to Hand Your Law Firm to the Next Generation presents the issue clearly and provides… Continue Reading

Succession Planning at the Smaller Law Firm-A Bigger Challenge

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
In a recent article in The National Law Review about law firm succession planning, Sue Remley offered some great analysis. Ms. Remley’s Succession Planning: How to Hand Your Law Firm to the Next Generation makes the important point that succession planning at law firms is vitally important and should not be ignored. She goes on to… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning – Five Common Mistakes

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
The issue of succession planning at law firms has received the attention of commentators and I have written about it as well. Demographically, the need among law firms to address succession is mounting as the boomer generation ages. Because the number of firms facing succession issues increase with each passing year, planning at firms is now… Continue Reading

Merging Your Law Firm As A Succession Plan-Five Key Considerations

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Every year law firms of all sizes merge. For some of the smaller law firms merging, the decision to combine may have been driven by the need for an effective succession plan. In these cases in which long-time management is unenthused about the prospect of turning the keys over the next generation, merger can be… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-A Succession Planning Alternative

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
In recent years, law firm mergers have been on the uptick and do not seem to be abating.  Big mergers reap a lot of publicity because the firms joining together often have household names. But as Catherine Ho reports, not all the law firm mergers involve the behemoths that grab the headlines. Ms. Ho’s Law Firm… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-Managing the Different Loyalties

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Law firm succession planning is a lot different today than it was in years past, even just a few years ago. In addition to the issues  covered previously on Succession Planning, difficulty arises from the fact that the interests of the people that make up a firm have never been less aligned. The lack of a single view… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession Planning-The Unfunded Pension Plan

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
For more than a few AmLaw 200 law firms, non-qualified retirement plans exist that are largely unfunded. Although “a good idea at the time” when established, the plans now can represent a significant burden. As James Cotterham wrote in his Retirement Basics for Law Firms a decade ago, the unfunded pension plans can be a… Continue Reading
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