An attorney is leaving my firm...

Lateral moves are a fact of modern law practice. Although all sizes of law firms have to deal with lawyer departures, it can be particularly painful for smaller firms. The loss of one lawyer, possibly along with the files that lawyer was handling, can have a direct impact on the firm’s bottom line. Oftentimes the departure comes just as the lawyer was becoming profitable. 

When a lawyer leaves a law firm, there are quite a few issues to address: notice to clients, transfer of files, evaluating whether the departing lawyer did any harm to the firm’s systems, and the collection and division of future fees, to name a few. If the departing lawyer had an ownership interest in the firm, there will likely be additional issues regarding the return of capital, division of other property, use or amendment of the law firm’s name, and so forth. 

Hopefully, you will only go through a few lawyer departures during the career. We’ve seen dozens of these and can help you navigate the present situation and assist you in reviewing your firm’s structure to try to minimize similar disruptions in the future.


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