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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of September 13, 2016

The Final Farewell: Business Responsibilities, Part IV

Business responsibilities in closing a law practice are not few in number. This is the final of a four-part series regarding those responsibilities (click to see Part I, Part II, Part III).

Take Control of Business Assets
When the appropriate time comes, take control of all business assets, which includes getting equipment, keys, and other business assets back from departing employees and any other third parties. Any client directories and other client-related materials are, of course, to be included here since you want to be very careful about who contacts your clients and what exactly is said to them.

Arrange to Terminate Lease and Storage Space
While you don’t want to pay your lease or storage space fees for any longer than necessary, you do want to leave yourself enough time to wind down your practice without rushing things. Discuss your lease’s expiration with your landlord, and, if possible, get the landlord to provide some flexibility on the final date that your office must be vacated.

If you own the space outright, you can decide when to sell it and when to allow the new owners to take possession of the space. Alternatively, you can retain the real estate and rent it subject to your leaving on a certain date.

Move Your Property Out of the Office
When you have established a tentative closing date and know that you will be moving large items to your home or elsewhere, you should interview moving companies, checking the credentials of each before you contact them. Develop a plan to color-code and tag all files, furniture, equipment, and artwork that will be moved, and then share this plan in advance with the mover that you select.

Check on requirements for moving out of the building, including insurance and bonding requirements, time of moves, loading dock and elevator availability, and safety requirements for protecting floors and elevators. You might need to leave the space in “broom-clean condition.” Finally, schedule a walk-through of the space with your landlord and get a written release from the space.



The Final Farewell: Business Responsibilities, Part IV

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"Ed educated me on how to implement a plan for the management of my law offices, which I have set up in Santa Monica. With his help, I was able to conceive and put into effect a business plan which promises not only to simplify my business, but to make it more profitable as well. He readily pinpointed my needs and offered sage advice on what I could do to rectify the problems that I have been facing. For this, I am forever grateful and will highly recommend him to anyone who asks."

Santa Monica, CA

"I decided to "go solo" and start my own practice after being a senior associate at a large national law firm. I started in temporary office space with a secretary and one associate attorney. I retained Ed Poll to provide comprehensive consulting and guidance in establishing my permanent office. He knew from day one how to re-shape my thinking from being a day-to-day lawyer into being in charge of a business. Ed knew the right questions to make me answer. Ed has taught me virtually everything I know about formation, planning, and now management of a successful law firm. I would enthusiastically recommend Ed Poll for retention as a consultant in connection with any aspect of law practice management."

Los Angeles, CA


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