Significant numbers of law firm partners are nearing retirement age. Many firms are facing the daunting question of how to smoothly transition their clients and practices to the next generation – and most firms have taken few if any steps to tackle the thorny issues this transition can raise.
Look to the May/June 2011 issue of Law Practice Magazine if you need help with building a succession plan for your firm. It has several articles that will help you with transitioning clients, practices and leadership.
Marcia Pennington Shannon’s A Short Course in Succession Planning article gives you a snapshot of fundamental steps and issues to consider in charting out a practice's transition process.
Steven T. Taylor wrote profiles of three firms that tackled various succession planning issues:
- Moving Young Lawyers into the Leadership Pipeline
- Dealing with "What-If" Scenarios and an overhaul of the firm's associate-heavy structure.
- Implementing the Management Succession Plan step-by-step over several years.
If you are a firm leader the Five Questions to Ask About Your Firm Succession Readiness article by Tom Grella will give you a roadmap to lead your firm through the execution of a succession plan.
There is a great article on the Financial Aspects of Succession Planning by Stephen Mabey and Karen MacKay.
Don’t underestimate the time and effort that it will take to properly plan and execute a succession plan at your firm. It is never to early to start. It can take 3-5 years or more. The articles in this issue of Law Practice will start you on this process.