Law firm succession planning: Your firm’s future

law firm succession planning

Law firm succession planning

Whether you run a small firm or a large law practice, the loss of a key employee or partner can have a massive impact on your firm. Planning for the long-term future  well in advance is key for saving time and money, as well as avoiding stress down the line.

Not only does a  succession plan provide you and your employees peace of mind  it also reassure key clients, suppliers, financial institutes and regulators of the firm’s ongoing and long term future.  . Law firm succession planning is also key for protecting the value built up in a firm and managing risk.

Small law firms and sole practitioners may face many challenges throughout the succession planning process. A strategy to sell your law firm, close, or transition the practice to another firm maybe be required to protect your clients, your firm, and yourself.

Why a law firm succession plan is required

Unexpected events: No one knows what is waiting around the corner; an unexpected crisis, such as death or severe illness of a family member, may lead to an urgent change in leadership for your business. It can be difficult to think about these situations in good times, but it is important that your employees and clients are aware of the next steps if a key person at the firm dies or is required to leave their role unexpectedly.

Retirement: A well planned succession and exit strategy will set you up well to enjoy your retirement, providing peace of mind that your firm and clients will be in the right hands. You may wish to establish a successor practice to take over your caseload and staff following your retirement; or you may plan to appoint a member of staff to succeed  you. Increasingly, outsourcing the run off for ongoing matters and closing the firm compliantly is becoming another alternative.

Insurance: For some insurers, a succession plan is necessary when evaluating your business risk. Not having a proper  plan in place may lead to you being refused insurance for your business.

Business strategy: A succession plan within your business strategy will add value to your business, provide stability for the future , and prevent adverse effects on your business  during times of uncertainty. It also ensures  your firm are able to continue provide great client service, even during the most difficult times.

 

Things to consider when making a succession plan

There are lots of things to consider when making a succession plan, including estate planning. We highly recommend that you ensure your Power of Attorney and your Will are kept up to date to include details of your succession plan.

Your plan should include  exactly what will happen to your firm, your staff and your caseload when you are no longer around. You may wish to  appoint a member of staff to head up the firm, consider a management team acquiring  the firm, merge with another law firm, sell your firm, or simply close the firm. Whatever you decide, you will need to consider how the firm will adapt in these situations and how your clients will be looked after.

Planning in advance is key to avoid a distressed situation. Robert Banner at Banner Jones Solicitors highlighted the importance of avoiding the risk of leaving a succession plan too late in a Law Society Gazette article, stating; ” ‘his or her business is not as good as it was because of age or ill-health, and very few firms will look at it’”

 

How can R&R Solutions assist?

The R&R Solutions model can be used to assist in law firm succession planning, whether you are a sole practitioner, or a larger firm wanting to exit a specific legal market due to the retirement, death, or unexpected illness of a partner. We can assist whether you decide to close, merge, or restructure your firm as part of your planning.

We also provide a complementary service for professional advisors that assist in the restructuring process or closure of law firms, such as advisory only accountants and restructuring specialists.

Our process involves discreetly selling a firm’s cases to multiple purchasers on our panel of solicitors. This reduces the risks to the buying firms and results in a higher value for the work in progress (WIP) being recovered, whilst ensuring SRA compliance.

If you decide to close your firm as part of your succession plan, we can assist in the orderly run off of files, ensuring full SRA compliance.

Our team manage the transfer of files from start to finish, placing case files with an approved law firm to protect the integrity of the client’s case.

We are an accountancy service provider that has built specialised software and processes to liquidate the full value a law firm has locked into WIP over time. We monitor case progression and conclusion in real time and account back to our clients for the value realised on an agreed reporting period.

 

Why choose R&R Solutions to assist with law firm succession planning?

Law firm succession planning can be a difficult topic to think about; however, early planning is essential to avoid a distressed situation. Whatever the route you choose to take for your firm, R&R Solutions will ensure the most positive and profitable outcome is achieved.

Our services are suitable for all types of legal work, using a simple, ongoing process with no up-front costs.

We guarantee 100% confidentiality for all clients. If you would like to find out more about Recovery First’s process, feel free to get in touch today via email (david.johnstone@r-rsolutions.co.uk), telephone (07887796989), or contact Sally Dunscombe at sally.dunscombe@r-rsolutions.co.uk or 07774 205 870.

Retirement Project - Grant Saw Solicitors LLP

“With our claimant personal injury partner retiring in we decided the time was right to step back from PI work. We reviewed the market options, were disappointed at the discounts being applied by potential buyers of the WIP and were referred to R&R’s offering the full realisation of WIP over time. It has effectively delivered what it “said on the tin” - over the project period we have seen a steady flow of receipts being accounted for to us, allowing us to recover the full value we had built up in the files."

- Mike Clary, Partner

Restructuring Project - Copley Clark

“Having taken a strategic decision to be completely step out of the claimant personal injury sector we were R&R’s first client to step back on a phased basis. R&R customised their offering specifically for us and I am happy to say it has worked a treat. We could focus our own resource on matters where we had a possibility of concluding within our timetable and utilised R&R’s panel firms to continue to work on other matters. Not only have their services allowed us to retain the value we had built in the files, the nature of the services ensured we were able to offer our clients the option of moving to firms with the skill sets required to best service their specific needs. For firms considering restructuring we would have no hesitation recommending R&R Solutions."

- Malcolm Lawrence, Partner

Restructuring Project - Farley Dwek Solicitors

" We had an extremely positive experience working with R&R Solutions after making the strategic decision to move away from an area of law and retune our business model. The process was very straightforward, and we were really pleased with the overall outcome. We would highly recommend the Recovery First model as a practical solution to any law firm wishing to exit a specific sector.”

Jonathan Dwek, Director

Ticking all the boxes for a quick, clean, confident exit from legal markets due to restructuring or retirement.

Contact us now in the strictest confidence

Sally Dunscombe:

07774 205 870

sally.dunscombe@r-rsolutions.co.uk

David Johnstone:

07887 796 989

david.johnstone@r-rsolutions.co.uk

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