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Maverick partners: Tactics for dealing with difficult colleagues

Adrian Crawford considers the costs and benefits of maverick partners, how to change their behaviours and the steps to remove them from your law firm

28 October 2015

Every practice needs partners who charm clients and perform brilliantly in financial terms. However, what do you do when the way they go about their work, or the way they behave, causes problems? Difficult partners are often successful precisely because they do not do things in the same way as everyone else. But, how can you manage their behaviour and, if they cannot be managed, at what point do the financial benefits they bring
to the firm cease to outweigh the problems they cause? What do you do then?

Not all mavericks are the same, but they generally fit into one of four main categories.

  1. The lone wolf. This partner works on their own. They do not work in teams with other partners or, generally speaking, share clients or contacts with other partners. They do not contribute to or participate in firm projects or activities. The work they do with their clients is prof...

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