Number of partnership squabbles hitting courts doubles in last year

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  • If 100+ actions reached the courts it is likely an even greater number were settled through mediation or other form of dispute resolution. Either way it is indicative of major stability problems in partnerships. It is interesting to note that as there may be factors other than recession at work. We have been tracking another indicator (for 20+ years) and there is enough evidence to show a causal link between the pecentage of pay for performance that is received by partners and the stability of their partnership in terms of partner attrition T/O rates. Perhaps the pursuit of 'what's in it for me' is where this all starts. Get the level of pay for performance back down to 15% (approx) of total remuneration and stability improves dramatically.
    As for the professional negligence claims it is likely that the provision of poor or inadequate advice is NOT the cause. Research is likley to confirm cleint expectations are rising faster than the profession is adapting to changing needs. Add in a bit of pressure/stress and a toxic brew develops. As ever teh cause is likely to be centred on poor and/or inadequate communication.

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  • Does this not say more about the approach of the advisers rather than that of the firms/partners in question? Some of us try very hard not to let it get that far...

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  • Absolutely, which reinforces Ashley's point about communication being critical.
    In some firms the 'underperforming' partner may be last to learn about any perceived issues, sometimes after the remaining partners have already decided that 'action' is necessary.
    In other firms, that partner is first to learn, well before anything is set in stone and the firm typically works with him/her more constructively.
    Both approaches also relate more to communications than the approach of advisers; if they too are only brought in late, to help 'resolve the issue' they may by that stage only have existing entrenched positions to work with.

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