I’m leaving my law firm...
Leaving a law firm raises logistical, financial, and emotional issues for both the lawyer who is leaving and for the firm that will be left behind. Part of the departure process is pure strategy: setting up the new firm or negotiating with the new employer, deciding when to leave, what client contacts are permitted and when, and navigating notice provisions (including the “unenforceable” ones). Then there are issues over how future fees will be handled and maximizing bonuses and return of capital. Last, but certainly not least, is preparing for the emotional reaction of the law firm the lawyer is leaving and managing that relationship.
We handle many lawyer departures as hourly consultations but will also offer flat fees for lawyers leaving law firms. For associates, non-equity “partners,” and contract lawyers with six years or less experience, the typical cost (assuming no special circumstances apply) for advising you regarding your plans to leave your law firm is a flat fee of $825, which includes an in-person meeting with you, review of your employment contract or other employment documents, and follow-up calls and e-mails from the time of our in-person meeting until you leave the firm or for two months, whichever comes first. The fee does not include drafting of conflicts waivers or demand letters, negotiation with the firm you are leaving, or negotiations with your new firm. Those tasks are typically billed at my hourly rate in addition to the flat fee.
For lawyers with an ownership interest in their law firm or lawyers who have more than six years experience, the flat fee is typically $1,195 for the same services described above. Lawyers with ownership interests and more-developed client bases tend to have more complex departure questions than non-owners and lawyers newer to the practice.