Articles From the Team
What should I do if my boss is leaving the law firm?
Specialising in the North West legal market, I see partners move all the time. Everybody knows everybody and a slight grievance at the partnership level can quickly result in a coffee catch-up with a competitor. Sometimes these coffee catch-ups arise incidentally; they’re arranged innocently (without job-seeking intentions) between two old friends or rivals. In this situation, job offers are sometimes thrown about (almost jokingly) but before you know it two old friends are discussing business cases.
If there comes a time where your direct superior moves to a competitor, it can be unsettling, especially if they’re a partner that brings in a lot of work. But a partner who’s moving on doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world (or the work). Sometimes it presents an opportunity; a firm is forced into further progression. It encourages a business to bring in another, better partner.
Therefore, the main advice is to not panic. The departure will be dealt with accordingly and it can eventually present opportunities ready for you to take advantage of. For example, depending on where you're at in your career, there might be a push for you to become a partner; or certainly more scope for it at the right time.
Whatever you do, at this stage, don’t get caught up in any hysteria your colleagues might feel or create. Unexpected departures are a shock to everyone, but it’s normal for people to move on – at all levels.
If the work's drying up
If it comes to the point where work is, in fact, drying up, and the outlook for its replacement looks grim, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. The North West is a buoyant legal market so if your firm doesn’t have the work, lots of others do.
Maintain a methodical outlook: evaluate your options and decide the best move for you.
A crucial thing to remember is that given the tightly knit legal communities across the North West, maintaining a good relationship with all parties (pre-departure) is a must. Whatever you decide – in terms of your career aspirations – following the departure, the partner that’s leaving might hold the key to your career progression further down the line (if you find it’s not available at your current firm or elsewhere).