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Law firms, just like any other business, must make preparations to deal with the loss of key employees and the hiring of new ones. Peter Scott, principal of Peter Scott Consulting and former managing partner of Eversheds’ London and European offices, explains to Diana Bentley how practices should address succession planning and why it is important to ensure a firm’s longevity.
Succession planning should be regarded as one of the most important issues for law firms. It involves the future wellbeing of a firm, including issues over a firm's future leadership, the prevention of loss of talent and client relationships, and the reconciling of the interests of older partners, younger partners, key staff, managing partners and clients. The key word is ‘planning’ because forward-planning is vital if effective succession planning strategies are to be put in place.
For sole practitioners the succession problems are even more acute, such as:
Many firms, and in particular some older partners, just put their heads in the sand and hope the problem will go away. Reasons given for this are myriad and some of the most frequently heard reasons are:
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