Practically speaking, handling client transition when selling includes and means selling and transferring your clients. There are several things to do and considerations to take into account.
Here is a list of things to remember and consider when handling client transition when selling a law practice.
- Client notice
- Written notice regarding the proposed sale
- Conflicts of Interest rules must be adhere
- An announcement in a local newspaper
- Contact information
- Follow all requirements
- Introduce the purchasing attorney to the clients
- Find common ground
Client notice. Rule 1.17 in most states mandates client notice as a condition precedent to selling.
A written notice regarding the proposed sale: All clients should have a copy of a written statement regarding the proposed deal, the client’s rights regarding ongoing counsel and possession of records, and other details.
Conflicts of Interest rules must be adhered to following the law.
Notice in a local newspaper. The seller should send a letter or email to your entire current client database and all former clients to keep everyone updated on the upcoming changes.
Contact information. The seller should provide clients with contact information for both parties involved just in case they need assistance.
Follow all requirements. Follow all requirements regarding retaining and transferring client records, giving the clients notice of the right to retrieve their records.
Introduce the purchasing attorney to the clients. It can be an excellent policy to introduce the purchasing attorney to the clients (though practical difficulties will likely prevent introduction to all). It will demonstrate your care for them and encourage them to stay.
Find common ground and work together to achieve a mutually beneficial transition. Both parties will have an incentive to protect the practice’s goodwill – reputation, referral base, etc.