Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: Partner Retirement

The Important First Step in Law Firm Client Succession

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Succession planning of client relationships at law firms requires a thoughtful examination of a law firm’s past, present and future.  Managing the transition of a senior lawyer’s practice to younger counterparts is not easy.  Poorly understood and executed, it can result in a loss of both valuable business and a cherished colleague.  The stakes are… 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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Altman Weil’s 2015 Law Firms in Transition report recently came out and as usual it offers interesting and valuable information about the law firm industry as well as the perceptions and attitudes of law firm leaders. One fact noted by AW in its report is that in 2015 much of the industry is enjoying a… 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

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

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

Law Firm Succession Planning: Competing in the Age of New Law

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Today, succession planning for law firms is more than finding the charismatic leader who is liked by most. Any new leader (actually, any leader whether new or not) must have the vision to compete in the age of New Law. Jordan Furlong’s An Incomplete Inventory of New Law is an excellent summary of new players competing in… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence–Operational Compatibility

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
A smart merger of two law firms requires careful study about compatibility. Fits between two law firms seldom are perfect. But if the cultures, financial metrics, clients and compensation systems generally are in sync, the opportunity for a successful merger exists. While one of these merger variables actually may be strained, harmony among the others… Continue Reading
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