Law360 featured Lois Carter Schlissel in an article titled “A Lawsuit-Free Way to Show Senior Partners the Door.” The article, published February 24th, discusses how senior partners have earned their status through years of hard work, and when the time comes to talk retirement, it can be a tough conversation. In the article, legal experts tell Law360 how to guarantee that the transition into the golden years isn’t punctuated by litigation and acrimony.
The article stated: “Meyer Suozzi English & Klein PC, a Long Island-based business litigation firm, has been around for 65 years, and over that time has never been involved in litigation over senior partner retirements. Managing attorney Lois Carter Schlissel says her firm’s comprehensive approach toward succession plans is designed to honor individual attorneys’ needs in a way that preserves the future of the firm and its relationships with clients.
‘In our view — certainly in my view — mandatory retirement is a very rigid, myopic approach that is not necessarily beneficial to clients,” Carter Schlissel said.
Carter Schlissel, who manages Meyer Suozzi’s succession plan and heads its employment law practice, highlighted the importance of sitting down with attorneys for several years before they reach retirement age — the number of years required and the age of retirement vary by attorney, she said — and setting out a fair, workable plan. She said she recently completed a plan that took five years.
The discussion starts by determining retirement goals, she said. Some attorneys require more of a wind-down than others, but what she said Meyer Suozzi avoids is a senior partner announcing a retirement three months before he or she intends to leave. That, she said, isn’t good for the firm or clients.
Carter Schlissel’s approach is a team effort, and involves ramping up the involvement of younger attorneys in cases gradually as the senior partners ease their way out with an eye on some sort of next step — whether that is full retirement from practicing law with the firm in order to pursue other interests, taking on an of counsel role, or some other arrangement.
With a cadre of senior partners and other attorneys involved in the transition process, no one feels like they’ve been singled out, she said.”
The full article can be read at Law360 (subscription required).