Law Firm Succession Planning - the elephant in the room?

8th February 2024. 4pm GMT

Thursday 08 Feb 2024, at 16:00

At a certain point in time, succession planning is a critical conversation that needs to be had in law firms – but one that often gets brushed under the carpet.

Many MI firms have first hand experience of succession planning – the good, the bad and the ugly – whilst others are considering it.  To help stir conversations, we will be joined by David Ernst – who lived and worked through a tortuous journey within his own law firm and now uses his considerable experience to help others.

David was a litigator and trial lawyer for 37 years, retiring from law practice last year. He worked at two law firms over the course of his career and developed an interest many years ago in succession planning for lawyers and firms. At his last firm, David held the position of Succession Planning Partner, where he had responsibility for helping the firm’s 200+ partners with all aspects of this.

Having just completed his own succession planning journey, David now works with lawyers and firms as a succession planning consultant. His focus is on helping firms embrace succession planning to strengthen client relationships, honour the contributions of senior lawyers and develop the next generation of rainmakers and firm leaders.

He will cover:

  • How to normalize discussion of succession planning in law firms.

  • Succession planning is not the “R” word, which can create anxiety for some senior partners. Rather, think of succession planning as the map to a new destination, whether that destination is a new firm role, a sabbatical or of course, retirement.

  • We have an obligation as senior lawyers to raise up the next generation of lawyers and future rainmakers. Thoughtful succession planning is an important way to help make that happen.

  • Young lawyers today have so many more choices today as to where they want to take their careers; the traditional law firm advancement model is just one choice. If young lawyers do not see a path forward in a law firm, they will vote with their feet. Law firms cannot just assume private practice is the most attractive destination.

  • How to build transparent communication, mutual respect and a shared commitment to the long term health of the firm. It ends with succession planning being a normal part of the culture of the firm; something that is celebrated and rewarded.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.