find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Exit strategies pay off

Exit strategies pay off

Firms that nurture positive relationships with departing lawyers can gain financial benefits, a business academic has claimed.

Dr Ian Williamson, a professor of human resource management at the Melbourne Business School, said firms should establish a formal exit strategy that preserves relationships with ex-employees. While some lawyers jump ship to join a competitor, others become in-house counsel for a potential client or go to firms that could offer a lucrative alliance, he explained.

“If you have lost a person in a good way and they are still on good terms with you, then that opens a conduit for potential economic exchange or collaboration that [the firm] didn’t have before,” Williamson added.

Currently, firms either defend or retaliate in the legal market’s “war on talent”, Williamson continued.

Some firms will defend against losing valuable staff by developing “thought-through policies and procedures that make [a firm] a very attractive place to work”, he elaborated. Others will retaliate by severing ties with organisations, poaching talent themselves or enforcing non-compete clauses against departing employees.

Williamson argued that neither is effective in retaining talent. Instead, he touted an approach that fosters sustainable relationships with current and former employees. This strategy can boost the firm’s profile and be a motivator for defecting lawyers and partners to return to the firm in the future, he added.

Williamson has conducted research into the effect of employee mobility on firm performance and found that an effective exit strategy has a direct impact on a firm’s ability to acquire new clients. His report, which surveyed 100 US law firms over a five-year period, was awarded the best paper prize by the Academy of Management Human Resource Division in 2007.

He also found that commitment to organisations is declining, which is increasing mobility of legal professionals. Firms must amend their talent management strategies to account for this trend.

“[Firms] need to evolve ... and not think about employment as being limited to one period of time,” he said.

 “It’s realistic you’ll get someone for 15 years, but unrealistic you’ll get them for 15 consecutive years,” he added.

Dr Ian Williamson spoke at a breakfast hosted by Mahlab Recruitment at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney on 1 August. The event was a prelude to the launch of Mahlab’s annual survey of salaries and market trends in the legal profession.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Exit strategies pay off
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...