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Five ways to improve your law firm’s buy-sell agreement

By Julious P. Smith Jr, Chairman Emeritus, Williams Mullen

27 November 2012

As the economic downturn lingers, lawyers continue to change firms at unprecedented rates. Firms seem to hire laterals and lose partners almost daily.

Many managing partners find a big surprise when they look at their firm’s buy-sell agreement. Management usually ignores employment and buy-sell agreements until someone leaves. They rarely focus on the impact of a mass, or even a semi-mass, exit.

Spending a few minutes with a buy-sell agreement prior to those departures may prove invaluable. Departing partner payouts can place an unexpected and unneeded burden on the remaining partners. The payments may put so much pressure on cashflow that they force the remaining partners to seek a more profitable situation.

Make sure your buy-sell agreement contains the following five critica...

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