So what do we know so far?
Law firms have a problem. There are too many owners that want to retire and too few people that are interested in taking over their business or share of their business and paying them out, so that they can do so. If you are a partner or owner looking to retire soon, then you need a plan to ensure that you have a successor or two ready, willing and able to take over the reins.
That all sounds very simple but if you drill deeper into the problem, there are many issues to address in passing on your business. Most owners focus upon the clients and the files. They are important – critically important. But there are many other areas around the business that can create difficulties for the retiring owner and are often overlooked when retirement beckons.
In Part One we looked at the changing sector structure and the implications for succession planning – the sole trader and partnership models have steadily declined and largely been replaced by the Limited Company. A focus was how to protect your core operating model – after all its not only lawyers who can retire after 20/30 years leaving a potentially huge knowledge gap.
The second instalment addressed the core issue of People – both to succeed you and protecting key relationships when staff move on. Oh, and the future of law looks Female according to the demographic data, have a look here!
Part Three addressed the important PPI dimension to succession planning. Love it or hate it no legal firm can exist without PII in place and it can pose fundamental problems for retirement and succession planning options.
Next, we come to property, security, and IT in your strategy: Can your new potential business partner now put a value on data security?
In the last instalment of this comprehensive guide to succession planning for law firm owners we look at Finance and also whether to use a merger/acquisition specialist or not to help you with your match-making efforts.