|For immediate release||March 22, 2011|
Law Society highlights the need for lawyers to plan for their replacements
Vancouver – The Law Society of BC is encouraging lawyers who practise solo or in small firms to plan ahead for retirement or unexpected events.
“While perhaps uncomfortable to think about,” said Graeme Keirstead, who has managed custodianships at the Law Society for the past four years, “planning ahead is critical if you work outside of the medium and large-firm environments. In those situations, another lawyer in your firm can pick up your files if something happens to you and you’re disabled or die. For smaller practices, succession planning is as important for lawyers as estate planning is for individuals.”
“It’s important to do because a pre-chosen successor is better for you, your clients and your loved ones,” said Keirstead. “It allows you to influence the outcome when you can’t practise. It gives your clients certainty and continuity of care, and it makes it easier for your loved ones during an already difficult time, should you fall ill or die.
In BC only 13% of sole practitioners have indicated on their trust reports that they have designated a lawyer who will wind up their practices in the event of death or disability. Later this spring the Law Society plans to launch a campaign to encourage more lawyers who practise in solo or small firm environments to plan for the future.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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