Thomas Mason presented “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” at the American Bar Association’s National Legal Malpractice Conference. Below is a description of the presentation.
Law firms are operating in an intensely competitive landscape. The imperative for survival and the drive for growth are leading more firms to breakup and/or for attorneys to switch firms. But breaking up is hard to do: When co-owners of a business break up they are subject to a variety of contractual, common law (fiduciary), and statutory obligations, and lawyers are subject to additional duties imposed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Those duties run not only between the lawyers and their clients, but between the lawyers themselves. Session attendees will learn best practices (the “do’s and don’ts”) involved in these breakups, along with the insurance obligations that come along with any split.