Firm closure plan—key considerations
Firm closure plan—key considerations

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Firm closure plan—key considerations
  • Firm closure plan—compulsory?
  • SRA requirements
  • Consequences of failing to plan
  • Your plan

This Practice Note sets out the regulatory requirements to consider when putting in place a plan or procedure for closing your firm and practical help on compiling the plan itself. For more on succession and exit planning strategy, including guidance on retirement planning, coming to the decision to close, valuing your practice, selling your practice and merging with another, see Practice Note: Succession planning in the wider context of your business.

Firm closure plan—compulsory?

There is no formal requirement to have a firm closure policy, however SRA Guidance says that when closing down your practice, you should plan the closure well in advance, where possible. Larger firms may need to prepare a detailed plan and should have a contingency plan for closure, merger or sale in the event of serious difficulties arising.

Of course, the interests of clients are critical, but disorderly closure of a law firm, the SRA reminds us, can also cause adverse impact on the courts and others dealing with the firm, such as those on the other side of a case or transaction.

Closing a practice involves taking numerous steps and requires forward planning.

SRA requirements

Risk management

You must identify, monitor and manage all material risks to your business, including those which may arise from your connected practices.

You must actively monitor your financial stability and business viability.

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