Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: Partner Retirement

Law Firm Succession Planning-Five Mistakes to Avoid

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
The issue of succession planning at law firms is a topic of great importance.  The need to address succession won’t always wait until a convenient time and makes planning as important than ever. Succession planning among firms, whether leadership succession or client relationship transition, is a mixed bag. Some firms have thought about it deeply… Continue Reading

Five Law Firm Client Succession Strategies-Finding the Best Approach for Your Firm

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
There are two primary succession challenges law firms face.  Leadership succession is one and is a vitally important step to assure a firm’s longevity.  A second kind of law firm succession involves the succession of client relationships as senior-lawyers wind-down or retire. As hard as leadership succession can be, managing client relationship succession can be… Continue Reading

Law Firm Retirement Plan Tweaking – Four Additional Things to Think About

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, 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. Numerous industry focused writings have noted an array issues faced by law firms experiencing retirements. As partners retire, financial ramifications can be felt. The monetary payout associated with the retirement… Continue Reading

Five Warning Signs That Your Law Firm is Headed for Uncertain Times

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
As business organizations go, law firms are different because they can face greater stability challenges.  Sure, law firms with iconic names seem to rock along year after year.  But for every bedrock firm there are others that struggle to survive.  And even some of the firms regarded for their steady state are like the proverbial… Continue Reading

Succession Planning as Financial Planning: Five Critical Components

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Succession planning is an important issue for many law firms, especially as the Boomers and Generation Xers age and the human resource pyramid becomes an irregular shaped box.  When you add in the assault on the industry from client competition, alternative service providers, and artificial intelligence, the necessity of doing succession right is more critical… Continue Reading

Is it Time? Five Developments That Demand Action from Law Firm Leaders

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
Running a law firm successfully is no easy task.  It is a multi-dimensional effort that requires leadership, discipline, vision, and some luck.  Getting all firm lawyers to row a boat in unison can be tough.  Even if some of the oars irregularly go into the water, progress is still possible. When attentive leaders work hard… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-A Way to Solve the Succession Dilemma

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
For many law firms, succession to the next generation presents a formidable and daunting challenge.  Leadership may have been too busy to plan ahead for succession.  Turnover at the firm may have dealt a blow to the goal of grooming someone to step in as the next leader.  Sometimes the next generation’s business development abilities… Continue Reading

Law Firm Succession: Addressing the Most Important Issue

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
After years of success (by any number of measures), more than a few firm founders (or later generation leaders) confront succession.  Some of them are simply ready to step back and enjoy life-turning their worries over to the next generation has great appeal.  Others are driven by unanticipated developments-illness or family circumstances compel them to… Continue Reading

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
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