Retiring as a Solicitor: What are your options?

retiring as a solicitor

When a solicitor reaches a certain age, they will inevitably be required to make the decision to retire. In some cases, the retirement of a solicitor may mean that the firm decides to exit a specific area of law, in others, more commonly, sole practitioners, it will require the closure of a law firm completely.

Paul Bennett from Aaron and Partners has discussed the options available to those deciding to cease trading due to retirement or any other reason: –

“The range of options is: closure; sale of all or part to another firm; internal acquisition by a solicitor; creation of an ABS to enable a non-lawyer to own the business; [or] external parties agreeing to buy the firm and operate it under the current name.” (Law Society Gazette)

There are a number of steps that must be taken when deciding to retire as a solicitor, and these will depend on the route you choose to take for your firm.

Steps to take when retiring as a solicitor

  1. Plan well in advance: When retiring as a solicitor, preparation is key to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. It may take 2-3 years to fully prepare for your retirement, especially if you make the decision to sell your firm. Having a discussion with Recovery First/R&R Solutions about your options will ensure that you make the best decision for your firm when you decide to retire.
  2. Find out if you require run-off cover: If you cease practice of your firm, you will be required to have appropriate run-off cover in place to cover the costs of any claims made against the firm after they have closed.
  3. Inform your clients: Whether you decide to close, sell, or merge your firm, you should always keep your clients informed so that they can decide whether they would like to move their case to another firm of solicitors.
  4. Inform the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA): You should always keep the SRA updated on any changes to your firm. If you plan on closing your firm, you should provide legal notice by filling in a Firm Closure Notification form. Taking advice from a compliance professional will often pay dividends.


Using Recovery First to assist when retiring as a solicitor


The Recovery First model can be used to assist in the retirement of a solicitor, whether they are a sole practitioner, sole partner, or a larger firm looking to exit a specific market due to the retirement of a partner. Whether you decide to close, merge, or restructure your firm, we can help.

We also provide a complementary service for professional advisors that assist in the closure or restructuring of law firms, such as advisory only accountants and restructuring specialists.

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.

If you decide to close your firm due to retirement, we can assist in the orderly run off of files, ensuring full SRA compliance.

Our team manage the transfer of files from start to finish, placing case files with an approved law firm to protect the integrity of the client’s case.

We are an accountancy service provider that has built specialised software and processes to liquidate the full value a law firm has locked into WIP over time. We monitor case progression and conclusion in real time and account back to our clients for the value realised on an agreed reporting period.


Why choose Recovery First to assist in retiring as a solicitor?

 Although retirement is a time which should be used for enjoyment and relaxation, the process of retiring as a solicitor can be a complicated one, especially if you are required to close your firm as a result. Whatever the route you choose to take for your firm, Recovery First will ensure the most positive and profitable outcome is achieved.

The selling firm’s clients not only get a seamless transfer, but they will also be matched with a firm specialised in their particular needs.

Our services are suitable for all types of legal work, using a simple, ongoing process with no up-front costs.

We guarantee 100% confidentiality for all clients. If you would like to find out more about Recovery First’s process, feel free to get in touch today via email (, telephone (07887796989), or contact Sally Dunscombe at or 01357 440140.


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David Johnstone:


01357 440140

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