Not If, But When: Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan Today

From The Canadian Bar Association, 11/4/2011

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There are two types of law firms: those that have experienced a disaster, and those that will. "Disaster" can come in many forms, any of which is unexpected and can ultimately mean the demise of the firm.

The goal of disaster planning is making a recovery that ensures the firm's survival. If, as a lawyer or a law firm, you think of planning for disaster recovery as a luxury you can ill afford in a time of increasing cost and profitability pressure, think again. Considerable research suggests that you are jeopardizing the future of your practice through unpreparedness and through missing an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.

Not every disruptive event is a disaster. Professional liability, malpractice claims, client relations problems and poor business judgment are all problems for the firm, but they are also part of everyday business.

A true disaster is an event or circumstance that can drive the firm out of business: a terrorist attack on your office tower, a pandemic like the SARS scare, a flood or other natural event with prolonged effects.

You cannot survive such an event unless you begin a firm-wide assessment aimed at conceiving and implementing a disaster recovery plan.

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