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law firm succession

Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Approves Proposed Rule on Succession Planning

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association Assembly approved a proposed rule on succession planning for lawyers during the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

It would require all Illinois licensed private practice lawyers to name a designated representative on their ARDC registration documents or certify that they have made a similar designation in a succession plan or other valid document. The designated representative would have the authority to take limited fiduciary action in the event that the designating attorney dies, becomes disabled, disappears, or abandons the practice.

Best Practice: Law firm succession - Discussing equity ownership

Posted on June 29, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the owner of a 14-attorney insurance defense practice in Baltimore. I started the firm 20 years ago after leaving behind my partnership at another firm. Of the other 13 attorneys, there are four non-equity partners and the rest are associates. I am 63 and beginning to think about retirement and how I am going to transition out of the practice. Two of the non-equity partners are well seasoned attorneys, have major case responsibility, and have developed solid relationships with clients. I have discussed equity partnership vaguely with them, but their interests seem lackluster and they have been non-committal. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice on what my next steps should be.

Best Practice: 2-phase approach catching on for law firm successions

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the solo owner of a five-attorney estate planning firm in Los Angeles consisting of myself and four associates. I am approaching retirement and looking at my exit options. Since there are no heirs apparent in the firm, I am looking to sell the practice. However, the potential buyer that I have been speaking with is nervous and concerned about client defections, proper transition, etc. Also, I would like to continue to practice for a few years and don't want to run afoul of the rules of professional conduct. I would appreciate your thoughts.