Withdrawing from a Partnership

Ron routinely advises partners of law and accounting firms on the strategic management of their withdrawal from professional partnerships. He has done so recently for four separate clients. In the consideration of goals, strategy and tactics, the factors to take into account include whether the partner is leaving voluntarily, or might be expelled, or is being otherwise forced out through the mechanics of reduced compensation, harassment or oppressive conduct. As a general guideline, both the firm and the partner wish to avoid litigation. However, unless managed properly, departures can give rise to lawsuits around transition, the approach to clients, solicitation, competition and the appropriate or unfair use of confidential information. Success must be considered in light of the setting of appropriate goals and getting there without destructive litigation. Litigation itself is the easy part, although more fun for the litigator than the client.