Background – As a small law firm grew, the two founding partners realized their management and customer service philosophies were more divergent than initially anticipated. This lack of alignment ultimately led to a great deal of tension which was routinely spilling-over and negatively impacting both staff and clients. In fact, the two partners had grown so angry they didn’t want to be in the same room with one another; the relationship had grown untenable.
Strategy & Results – The Fallston Group was contacted by one of the founding partners who wanted to immediately meet – the very high emotion and desperation was obvious. The initial concerns revolved around (1) the poor work product that was being delivered to clients by one partner and (2) managing the dissolution of a partnership that would no longer work. Additionally, since one of the partners would have to leave, the challenge was to maintain a sense of business continuity and stabilize the current client portfolio – significant change such as this often triggers clientele uncertainly which leads to attrition. After analyzing the facts, the Fallston Group met with each partner separately for many, many hours and ultimately brokered an exit strategy – one partner maintained ownership and current client-base while the second partner planned to exit with settlement. Both partners agreed with the terms, signed documents and executed the dissolution. This was a very emotional, yet relieving experience for all involved. Because law firm leadership changed, a firm name change was required. As a result, the Fallston Group crafted all of the external communications messaging and created a distribution strategy to (1) announce the change and (2) explain to clients what the change meant for them and how the change will enhance service. As a result, the internal and external stakeholders were communicated with very effectively. The client-base and revenue lines were stabilized. According to the client, the very objective, professional judgment of the Fallston Group was the key to moving the partners through adversity to advantage.
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