The idea of Succession – it is just that

I have no sympathy for those firms who ignore succession.

It is bloody obvious.

You have an ageing partner population and clients have tremendous allegiance to your senior fee earners. It is very likely that unless you spend meaningful time cultivating an alternative relationship, they won’t renew their membership of your firm when the partners retire.

What are you doing about it?

It being:

  • Speaking to the clients?
  • Making sure that the bond is with the firm and not the individual?
  • Ensuring that any internal trust issues are managed?
  • Allowing the client to get to used to someone else doing the work?
Not enough, not nearly enough.
You dare not rock the boat. If you challenge the situation you risk alienating the partner and losing the client.
I view this as nonsense.
If you were to adopt a team approach then all these issues would disappear.
Oh yes they would.
Don’t tell me that the client would go elsewhere. No they wouldn’t. You just haven’t bothered to have that conversation and are making an assumption or two.
My advice:
  1. Stop making excuses.
  2. Capture the potential.
  3. Introduce others to the relationship.
  4. Tell the partner that they are firm clients.
  5. Act in the client’s best interests.
In a sense I don’t care hugely what you decide to do – well that’s not true – but it is probably born out of the fact that I have lost count of the number of times I have raised this issue to be met with a polite but ineffectual smile.
Stand up and be counted.
Adopt a leadership role and don’t be thwarted.
~ Julian Summerhayes ~

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