Succession planning, it’s good practice

Your clients and family are counting on it

The Law Society is launching a campaign to encourage sole practitioners to take the critical step of arranging for a winding up caretaker.

Graeme Keirstead“Sole practitioners need to have someone in place to take over their practice in an emergency,” said Graeme Keirstead, who has managed the custodianship department at the Law Society for the past four years.

“Many lawyers don’t have the time or desire to think about succession planning. It may be uncomfortable to imagine your own disability or death, but it’s as important to have contingency plans in place for your practice as it is for your personal ­estate. It’s like leaving a will for your practice and making sure your wishes are met and that the people you care about, which in this case would be your clients, are looked after.”

Law Society data indicates only 12 percent of sole practitioners over 50 years of age have a designated winding up caretaker. This June the Society is launching a campaign entitled Succession planning, it’s good practice to encourage more sole practitioners to voluntarily make succession plans for their practices.

“Succession planning benefits everyone involved,” said Keirstead. “Planning lets the lawyer choose who will be the winding up caretaker, what details that lawyer will handle and on what financial terms. It gives the clients certainty. It makes it easier for the lawyer’s loved ones during an already difficult time. And it means the Law ­Society doesn’t need to step in as a custodian, which saves everyone time and money.”

If you are a sole practitioner, take the time now to think about succession planning. The Law Society is available to help and has developed tools on the website in the practice support section to make it easier for lawyers to act as each other’s winding up caretaker.

Lawyers with questions should contact the Custodianship department at tel. 604.669.2533 or by email to

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