The United States Law Week

When ‘Run’ on Partners Starts, So Does Race to Save Law Firm

Sept. 23, 2019, 11:27 AM

The deaths of firms from LeClairRyan to Sedgwick to Dewey LeBoeuf all followed a dreaded partner “run.” That’s when lawyers move to other firms in large numbers, taking their capital and clients with them, and leading the firm into a death spiral.

Reducing Damage: Some firms mitigate this problem, which can include leveraging overseas firm ownership structures and seeking out merger partners. But experts acknowledge it’s very hard to stop the bleeding.

Blessing and Curse: “[Partner ownership] might simultaneously be a source of community and bonding and even profit and also the cause of law firm collapses,” said Yale Law...

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