Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. – Peter Drucker

We have previously written  about the unique nature of the law firm turnaround and how commitment from owners is one of the keys to turnaround success. In Part 2 we will look at resource management (or cost management) as a second key to success.

Cost Management – Relieve the Pressure

Turning-around a troubled law firm, or any business for that matter, is difficult. To give the challenged firm the greatest chance of success it is critical to relieve the organization of as much financial pressure as possible.

Although there are other steps that we will discuss, managing a firm’s cash commitments to as low a level as practical is the first and most important step in minimizing financial stress. Typically, the two largest demands on the financial resources of law firms are:

• The cost associated with personnel

• The cost associated with lease space.

Managing People Cost
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One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!    Winston Churchill

Law Firms, like all

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

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.

(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)

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

There continue to be reports addressing the challenges facing the legal profession related to a falling demand for legal services and the increasing number of alternatives to traditional law firms.

At a macro level the demand for legal services has been flat to negative for the last decade. While larger firms have faired slightly