A very common query into Ten Percent Towers – we get calls from partners of law firms asking us for advice on how they get rid of their law firms because they are completely fed up with them!
We hear lots of different reasons for this, but they can be narrowed down into a few categories – money and the stress of having to pay monthly bills out of money generated, regulatory issues and the hassles dealing with the SRA, the ever-increasing cost of professional indemnity insurance, or the incredibly long hours that they are having to work to pay the bills.
Reasons for Being Fed Up
This is a very important discussion to have if you are thinking about getting out of your law firm because you are fed up, because there are so many different things going on here, that quite often what you actually think you want and what you actually should be thinking about are two very different things.
Take the regulatory issue for example. If you are getting fed up having to deal with the SRA all the time, and compliance, completing lots of forms and perhaps undertaking your CQS accreditation, or go through your renewal of LEXCEL, then there are other ways of dealing with this other than closing down your practice. In fact, I would go so far and say that in these circumstances closing down your practice is probably a little bit extreme, and you could perhaps think about other things instead.
For example, you could speak to a regulatory and compliance expert (we can recommend a good one) who will do all the regulatory and compliance work for you at a set monthly rate.
Long Hours Example
In relation to the long hours you are working, can you possibly cut down on these by recruiting someone else to help – it does not necessarily have to be a similar high level fee earner, but you could perhaps consider taking on an administration assistant to help you with the more mundane tasks you are undertaking.
Money Stress Example
So far as the money is concerned, do you really need to carry on with the same level of staffing that you currently have, or could the practice be streamlined a little bit? Quite a lot of firms we see seem to pick up staff and keep them for generations, and some of the salaries they end up on appear quite unaffordable for the size of the practice. I think at times partners struggle with a sense of obligation – I know that I have done this in the past myself – and it can be an extremely hard situation to extract yourself from.
Separation is the Key
There are a whole load of different factors that kick in when it comes to thinking about a sale or disposal, but it is important to separate them out in your mind and to see whether or not it is a sale or disposal that you seek and not simply a remedy of one particular problem that your practice has.
Help is at Hand!
We can assist if you would like us to look at any issues like this and provide you with advice. For details of our services, please visit www.jonathanfagan.co.uk.