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Why early succession planning is key

As baby boomers make way for millennials, how will you plan for the future of your firm? Edward O’Rourke shares his ten commandments for successful succession planning

22 May 2019

In my days as a practising corporate lawyer, I – along with their accountants – would regularly advise clients to plan their succession at least three to five years ahead of their intended retirement date.

So why do many in the legal profession behave as though the same advice does not apply to them? What should law firms’ management be doing?

Unfortunately, it appears that many partners in law firms still see themselves as employees. 

Speaking to insolvency practitioners looking after failed firms I am often advised that two issues are most common in failure.

Firstly, a failure to reduce drawings at a time of falling income, often citing words along the lines of “I have always been paid this I cannot afford to live off less now”. And, secondly, a failure to put in place succession planning for ownership as well as legal skills. 

Maybe partners still see retirement as their ceasing to be an employee of a business ...

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