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Succession Planning: What Can We Learn From Queen Elizabeth II? 

What can be learned about succession from the British Royal Family?

Queen Elizabeth’s passing left behind a legion of admirers and mourners. While your law firm may not need a succession plan as intricate as the House of Windsor, there are lessons to be learned from the monarchy.

Expect the unexpected, opportunity favors the prepared.

The most important lesson from the Queen’s succession is that difficult decisions need to be addressed ahead of time. Get all the key stakeholders involved in the succession planning. 

Leave on your terms.

Operation London Bridge, the Queen’s succession plan was seamless, from the gun salutes, and flags at half-mast, to the prime minister’s speech.

Succession needs to be an integral part of your law practice, proactively planning for every contingency your firm may face: 

  • The leadership must continually acquire the skills to ensure your and your firm remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace.
  • Determine if an interim leader to be appointed while a search for a new CEO, or a plan to merge with a suitable partner?  
  • The succession plan must be regularly reviewed and updated based on business goals, timelines, and unexpected passing or staffing departures that may impact the firm’s leadership. 
  • Be inclusive and decisive. Official statements need to convey an authentic openness and transparency to offset any fear or concern about the succession notifying internal and external stakeholders. 
  • A team must be in place to prepare the staff for the transition, this helps to make the succession as smooth and seamless as possible.

Plan for an effective succession to be completed in conformity.

Anticipate any legal outcomes that may arise from the transfer of power and assets.

  • Provide written instructions concerning how and where client information is stored, including bank and other account details.
  • Detail information concerning disposition of closed client files, information about law office equipment leases or other contracts.
  • Be sure to satisfy payments of current liabilities.
  • Provide continuity so that sensitive passwords and protocols are shared with leadership in the event of unexpected departures. 
  • Provide detailed Information on how the successors will be compensated.

Since 2017, the Queen slowly began stepping away from her duties, grooming her successor to lead. Do it the royal way by preparing for succession early. 

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Succession Planning: What Can We Learn From Queen Elizabeth II?  


What to learn about succession plans from Queen Elizabeth and the British Royal Family (Success Magazine)

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On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

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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.