The Special Committee on Succession and Transition Planning was formed by ISBA President Hon. Russell Hartigan (ret.) to help lawyers prepare for life events, some of which may be unplanned, that result in the closure of a lawyer's law practice. The closure of a law practice can present serious and far reaching issues for a lawyer and the lawyer's clients including protecting client rights and confidential information, preserving client property, ensuring access to electronic files and business management systems, and others. The mission of the Special Committee is to provide guidance, education, and resources to enable lawyers to properly plan for and handle the transition of a practice in an emergency due to a catastrophic event or when the lawyer retires or is otherwise no longer able to practice. To do this the Special Committee is tasked with consolidating the many already existing ISBA succession and transition planning resources, updating those resources where necessary, preparing new resources where appropriate guidance is lacking, and considering whether specific Supreme Court rules would be beneficial to help lawyers protect their clients and practices in the event of unanticipated events.
The Special Committee encourages you to send us comments about your experiences with this topic and any of the resources provided below. Please send your comments, questions, or suggestions for the Special Committee to us at ISBASuccession@isba.org.
- Illinois Bar Journal, "Confronting the Inevitable: Succession Planning for Lawyers" (2017).
- ISBA Quick Takes on "What the ARDC Wants You to Know About Succession Planning"
- ISBA’s Proposed Succession Rule
- Planning for the Sale and Transitions of a Law Practice Under Rule 1.17 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct in the Event of the Retirement, Death or Disability of a Sole Practitioner, by John T. Phipps
- ISBA CLE on "Succession and Transition Planning" (2018), Presented by the ISBA Special Committee on Succession and Transition Planning
- ARDC Free CLE on "Succession Planning: Contingency Planning for Sole Practitioners"
- ARDC Free CLE on "Succession Planning: Preparing Your Firm for a Smooth Transition"
- Sample Succession Plan
- Sample Rule 1.3 Succession Planning Checklist
- Sample Attorney Will Provision for Disposition of Law Practice
- Preemptive Client Consent in Fee Agreements
- Sample Powers of Attorney Provision
- Sample Emergency Checklist for Deceased or Disabled Attorney's Executor of Representative
- Sample Sole Shareholder Corporate Resolution Contingency Plan
- Sample Sole Director Corporate Resolution Contingency Plan
- Sample Confidentiality Agreement re: Practice Information
- Sample Certificate of President and Secretary-Treasurer for Contingency Plan Resolution
- Sample Petition for Letters Testamentary (involving the disposition of a law practice)
- John T. Phipps, John T Phipps Law Offices PC, Champaign, Chair
- Matthew Pfeiffer, Pfeiffer Law Offices PC, Wheaton, Vice-Chair
- John R. Cesario, Attorney Reg & Disciplinary Commission, Chicago, Member
- John H. Maville, Law Offices of John H Maville, Belvidere, Member
- John L. Nisivaco, Boudreau & Nisivaco LLC, Chicago, Member
- Lisa M. Nyuli, Ariano, Hardy, Ritt, Nyuli, Richmond, Lytle & Goettel, PC, South Elgin, Member
- Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum, Springfield, Member