find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Baby boomers need to get out

Baby boomers need to get out

Law firms face considerable risk to their financial viability if baby boomers partners continue to put off retirement, according to a performance management expertSpeaking at a LexisNexis…

Law firms face considerable risk to their financial viability if baby boomers partners continue to put off retirement, according to a performance management expert

Speaking at a LexisNexis conference on practice management today (24 May), Joel Barolsky, principal of Beaton Research & Consulting, said that older partners are increasingly reluctant to give up the partnership and move into retirement, thus creating a "constipated pyramid" of equity.

According to Barolsky, too many firms are allowing these partners - who hold significant equity in the firm - to remain at work for too long. The result, he explained, is a dearth of young talent rising through the ranks, meaning that when the partners do eventually move on, firm profits are significantly diluted.

Barolsky added that many firms are spending too much time and money managing the small percentage of partners who are either underperforming and need to be managed, or those who are performing so well that they need to be persuaded to stay at the firm and have their "egos stroked".

He said firms would be more profitable if they gave more attention to the bulk of partners who perform solidly, but who could be encouraged to perform even better.

Another major issue for law firms, said Barolsky, is the management of partners who perform extremely well on the financial side of things, but who fail to meet the behavioural standards of the firm.

"If people don't abide by your firm standards, what are they? Wallpaper?" asked Barolsky, who said he deals with many firms which are not willing to have "the difficult conversations" about poor behaviour with such effective fee-earners.

"This is a perennial issue," he said, adding that some firms are resorting to engaging external coaches to deal with problem personalities. This, he said, is "bearing fruit" in many firms adopting the strategy.

"It's about acting, doing something, intervening," he said. "There is a moral imperative that the partners know what is expected in terms of performance and behaviour."

Claire Chaffey

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

Baby boomers need to get out
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Applauds
07:00
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Mentoring
07:00
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
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 & ...