Not a new phenomenon but one that seems to be in vogue for small to medium size firms lately is jettisoning of senior lawyers and not always on the firms' initiative!
There is lots of speculation of reasons why the increase, that while they run the gambit of logic are for the most part driven by perspective:
Senior partners losing faith in the future of the firm for several reasons, including:
- A dearth of imminent leadership to ensure the firm is positioned to move forward.
- An eroding client base that makes current income levels unsustainable.
- A sudden self-awareness that their historic leadership has resulted in a firm with an imbalance between leading "grinders" but skillful "finders."
- Seeing the price of a lack of past strategic vision to actively pursue augmentation of practice areas offered.
- Panic drove by them both understanding the role their "capital" plays in their financial retirement and the potential to lose it.
Mid-level partners developing a sense of being "past over" for several reasons including:
- Stalling of levels of income, some times at substantially less than what their predecessors enjoyed.
- Perceived disrespect from senior partners with their catering to younger partners (i.e., work allocation; leadership roles; client succession; etc.)
- Distrust of younger partners to accord them the same respect they have shown the partners who went before them.
- Increased willingness to deal directly with the economic pressures of supporting "underperforming" senior partners.
- The increasing financial costs of running the firm and "who" is going to share in the funding of these costs at the same time as capital payouts.
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