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I’m Just Getting Started: Lateral Partner Moves After Sixty

Partners are opting to continue working well into their 60’s and beyond – act decisively and quickly. There will never be a better time to make the lateral partner move.

Senior partners sense they are being sidelined, for reasons unclear. There is a stigma that persists that after 60, you have very little currency in the workplace.

Not so. No reason why top attorneys should be forced to retire. In the Metro NY regions there is renewed interest in senior partners.

“As many partners approach sixty, they begin to consider retirement. Surprisingly, a good number have no strategic exit plan in place.

One thing is for sure, no one feels safe right now. The pandemic has given all of us pause to thing about our health and wellbeing. It is absolutely critical to put in place a plan that accounts for unexpected health problems or uncontrollable market events.

Partners should protect and monetize their book of business that they have worked so hard to build over the years.” Shari Davidson, President, On Balance Search Consultants.

Not all partners are equal, and most have nurtured powerful relationships over the years. The best candidates bring three critical assets to the table:

  • Their practice is portable and profitable and will contribute to the firm’s bottom line.
  • The candidate must a good fit. They must be able to transition and integrate seamlessly into the firm’s culture.
  • Prospects must provide a detailed long-range plan on how they be able to contribute to the firm’s growth strategies three-to-five years out.

To ensure candidates can bring business with them, law firms need to double down on due diligence. At the same time, the acquiring firm must provide a support team to give the new venture the best opportunity to succeed.

The pandemic has accelerated many succession plans and senior partners who would have never considered making the lateral move to another firm. The business world has embraced technology opening up new opportunities for those who find working remotely advantageous.

In the midst of the upheaval of pay cuts, and layoffs, some firms are seeing defections. As we come out of this COVID Crisis, firms should keep an open eye on taking on senior partners.

Now is the time to consider retirement, relocation or making the move to another firm. Remote work is now the new normal. Think about negotiating more flexible terms for a better work, life balance.

About On Balance Search

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

Contact us today. Call 516-731-3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.


Ms. Davidson, a highly skilled human resources executive with over 20 years’ experience that specializes in finding top talent in the legal community. Shari has placed lateral partner attorneys, as well as group acquisitions & law firm mergers and has assisted several prominent clients in recruiting lateral associates, paralegals and internal professional administrative positions.