The Legal of the Lateral Process
To play one needs to understand the rules of the game.
There are a couple critical matters* that partner candidates, the prior firm, and the acquiring firm should understand and abide by.
The Client’s Right to Counsel
At the center of this process is the freedom for the client’s right to choose representation.
The courts would prefer the candidate to give the client notice of his departure and expressing the right to retain counsel of its choice after the candidate has given notice. “Pre-resignation conduct” with clients must be of “appropriate client informational service rather than improper solicitation” for one’s own benefit.
The Lawyer’s Right to Move
Based on the ABA Model of Rules Professional Conduct 5.6, the lawyer shall not be restricted the right to terminate relationship with a current firm. How one goes about that is important to the courts.
The Fiduciary Duties of a Partner to his/her Firm
The duties that are important to a lateral move would be using firm assets for personal benefit and taking information that would give another firm a competitive advantage.The courts are particular about what information should be released to an acquiring firm.
The Fiduciary Duties of a Partner to his Client
Other important matters to consider:
- The timing of releasing information before and after the notice to the prior firm
- Information technology and your files
- Financial information and what can be shared
- How are groups handled with partners, associates, and staff
At the Lion Group, we assist our partner candidates with the information for success.
Contact us today to answer your questions and begin.
*Partner Departures and Lateral Moves by Geri Krauss