Several commentators[FOOTNOTE 1] have recently noted a "trend" among law firm partners in departing their firms to open their own boutique[FOOTNOTE 2] firms. Rather than move laterally to another firm, those partners interested in changing locale have, for a variety of reasons, opened their own shops with partners from their current firms or with partners from other firms.[FOOTNOTE 3] The reasons for this adventurous step vary. Some partners leave to combat inflated billing rate structures, some to provide more flexible service to clients and to avoid conflicts with other practice groups at their current firms, and others as a result of objectionable policies such as mandatory retirement. Additionally, some see the challenging economic times as opportunity knocking. Our experience is that underlying all these reasons is the fundamental and optimistic belief of these newly minted entrepreneurs that they simply can do it better themselves.

In this column we discuss some of the issues that those partners contemplating opening their own firms should consider to ease the transition to a new firm of their own creation.

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