The process of retiring as a solicitor can be a complicated one, especially for those making the decision to close or sell their law firm; there are many issues to consider but the following 10 points will help make the process more straightforward:
- Explore all the options – will you sell your firm, or work towards a closure over time? Is there a management team who may want to take over? Are there opportunities to merge?
- Engage professional advisors early in the process – identifying and engaging with expert advisors as soon as possible is vital for ensuring a smooth transition into retirement, Key elements such as due diligence, marketing, financials, tax planning, legal, and regulatory consents can be stressful and take up considerable amounts of time; having the right advice can save time and money
- Prepare you firm for sale or closure – presenting your business in the best light is essential in ensuring you achieve the best value; secure the support of your Bank and any funders to your plan, undertake a file closure process for those files which aren’t progressing to tidy up your matter listing, purge outstanding debts, deal with any outstanding disputes, reduce your archive and destroy old files you are no longer required to keep.
- Don’t forget there is value in your brand and ‘lead generation’ assets – compile historic data on enquiries generated from your website and any social media platforms as well as those who respond to your brand from advertising and reputation.
- Engage with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) – you should always keep the SRA updated on any changes to your firm, including your retirement when you have a fully formed plan.
- Explore your insurance position and manage the need and cost of run-off insurance – whether selling or closing your firm it is likely you will need to buy 6 years professional indemnity insurance run-off, which is expensive. Engage with your broker to ensure reserved claims are removed from your claims experience where possible, and that they fully understand the ongoing risk (or de-risk) to the insurer as a result of your plans so they can negotiate on standard terms which may be applied. (At the time of going to press, a decision is still awaited on the Solicitors Indemnity Fund closure for sole practitioners.)
- Maintain good communication with your employees – speaking to an employment law specialist will help you to decide the best options for your firm and employees but maintaining their goodwill to protect the value of your ongoing work during the transition phase will be crucial.
- Understand consent and data protection regulations – your obligations to preserve client confidentiality and obtain informed consent are very clear and need careful planning to avoid breaching Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Regulations and the Data Protection Act
- Develop a client communication programme to keep your clients informed – timing will be crucial as you need a fully developed plan to reassure your clients and maintain their goodwill, whilst also needing to give as much notice of change as possible. Whichever route you take you are likely to require their informed consent so good communication will be key.
- Speak to Recovery First – our flexible model can support your retirement plans whatever the route, but contact us early for a confidential discussion to explore how
Why choose Recovery First?
Recovery First can assist with solicitor retirement, whatever the route you choose to take for your firm and will ensure the most positive and profitable outcome is achieved.
We also provide a complementary service for professional advisors that assist solicitors throughout the planning of their retirement.
Our process involves discreetly selling a firm’s cases to multiple purchasers on our panel of solicitors. This mitigates the risks to the buying firms and results in a higher value for the work in progress (WIP) being recovered, whilst ensuring SRA compliance.
Our team manage the transfer of files from start to finish, placing case files with the best firms suited to deal with their unique client matter.
If you would like to find out more about Recovery First’s process, please get in touch on a confidential basis direct via email email@example.com, telephone 07887796989, or contact Sally Dunscombe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07774 205 870
It's never too late to speak to Recovery First. Contact us now in the strictest confidence
07774 205 870
07887 796 989
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PO Box 632