John Bruch: Small firms face big challenges when leaders retire

Transitioning a small law firm from one leader to the next is a challenging and complex process, encompassing the transfer of clients, negotiating financial terms of the partner’s departure and choosing his or her successor. Unlike larger firms with a plethora of experienced attorneys ready to step up and fill the gap, smaller practices often have an “elder statesman” or “stateswoman” who forms the backbone of the practice and has strong personal bonds with clients. Without a solid succession plan, their departure could alienate clients and harm the practice.

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