Question I am a 52 year old solo practitioner in Memphis with one non-attorney staff member. While I do have some concerns about my long term succession exit strategy my immediate concerns are more short term in nature. How do I cover and serve my clients if I take vacation, get sick, or get busy and need help? What are your thoughts?
Answer: Sound practice continuation arrangements can solve this dilemma and preserve practice value and can help prevent a lawyer's spouse or immediate heirs from facing a hasty sale or disposition of the practice in an emergency. A practice continuation arrangement can also give lawyer practitioners, their staff, and their family's peace of mind.
A practice continuation arrangement is an arrangement - typically in the form of an agreement or contract - made between an individual lawyer or a small law firm and another lawyer or law firm. The arrangement describes a course of action to transfer a lawyer's practice and sets payment for its value. In the event of vacation, temporary or permanent disability, or death, a practice continuation arrangement protects the practice, the business interests of the lawyer or law firm's clients and the financial interest of the lawyer and his or her family.
There are different kinds of practice continuation arrangements. Typically a lawyer enters into a one-on-one agreement with another sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or professional corporation in the community. Agreements can range from simple "dual coverage for each other" for vacation or other temporary absences to sale of the practice in the event of long term disability or death.
Look around for another solo practitioner or law firm that you can partner up with.