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Valuing & Distinguishing Goodwill When Planning Your Firm’s Succession

When it comes to planning your law firm’s succession, a primary area of concern for your successor is whether your clients will choose to work with that successor after you leave. One way to assess this need is to evaluate the type of goodwill that exists with your clients and whether that goodwill carries any transferrable value. Professional Goodwill Many believe that the goodwill of a law practice is usually too personal to have market value. This belief stems from the conventional wisdom that says a client hires an individual lawyer, not a law firm, due to that lawyer’s education, experience, skill and reputation. This type of goodwill is known as professional goodwill. Under most circumstances, it is problematic for a selling lawye… Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

How Do You Value a Firm When Selling to an Insider?

Valuing a law firm for sale is never as straightforward as one might like. This is especially true when looking to sell to an insider. ... Read More

Fearing Retirement? Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Last month, I went out to dinner with some friends. One friend announced to the group that,  after working for a large telecommunications company for more than 25 years, he was being offered an opportunity to retire early with some very nice incentives. He further informed us that he had intended to retire within the next year. So, the offer was not going to change his planned retirement date in any significant manner.  ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

What Happens to Your Website if You Sell Your Practice?

If your firm is like many solo and small law firms, a significant portion of your firm’s value derives from the amount of business your website generates. When selling a law firm—be it an actual sale or a transition to another firm as “of counsel”—it is therefore critical that the buying firm retains the benefit of the seller’s previous website traffic. ... Read More

Failing Health Causes Failed Succession

More lawyers are working well into their 70s. Indeed, I am no longer surprised when I meet lawyers still practicing in their 80s. What’s behind this growing trend of aging attorneys? ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Should My Associate Be My Successor?

As a small law firm owner thinking about retirement, you are likely looking to your own associate to be your successor. This decision is not one to enter lightly, however. Before you make anything official, you need to consider whether your associate has the talent and the skills to pull it off. Just because the associate handles files well has no bearing on whether they can successfully operate a law firm. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Compensating Retiring Lawyers for Client Transition Efforts

A key aspect of any law firm succession plan is keeping the firm’s best clients when the rainmakers are gone. As more Boomers retire or start their winding down efforts, concerns about client retention and proper compensation are at the forefront of succession plan conversations. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Closing versus Selling a Law Practice: Why Not Get Money for Your Efforts?

Are you a solo lawyer or small-firm owner facing retirement? Then, like most Boomer lawyers out there, you’re contemplating the option of selling your law practice. ... Read More

How to Approach Difficult Conversations About Succession Planning

Talking about a firm’s future is hard enough. Build onto that the need to plan for a future that doesn’t include a senior attorney… Talk about awkward! There is also fear on the part of younger lawyers. It can often feel confrontational to approach senior lawyers and ask about their future plans. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Solos and Small Firm Owners: Don’t Delay Your Succession Planning

Succession is perhaps the most significant long-term challenge facing soon-to-be-retired, baby-boomer solo practitioners and small law firm owners. This is understandable, as a variety of psychological and emotional factors stack the odds against you laying the foundation for a smooth transition. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

I am in my mid 50's and have a very successful solo personal injury practice. I have enough money that I can now afford to slow down and fully retire now, but anticipated doing so in my early 60's, as I still enjoy working. I had . . ." Read the rest
– Solo practitioner, Casper, WY

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