We all know the importance of servicing clients through multiple practices at your firm. So many good reasons: diversifying in case one practice is hit by a downturn, succession planning in case a relationship partner becomes unavailable, knowing different aspects of your clients’ business so that you can provide your legal guidance in the context of your clients’ broader business objectives. The main reason not to introduce your clients to one another: if you are keeping them close to the vest so that they are portable if you are going to leave. A second reason not to introduce your partners may be that you do not trust your partners to service your clients with the same degree of care you provide, and you fear they will harm your relationship either through lack of client service or poor legal guidance. But, since you are partners, let’s assume this is not the case, and that you are not hoping to leave for another firm and take your clients with you.
Partnerships are relationships, ideally relationships built on trust and a common goal. Successful partnerships require all parties working together—working together to service a client fully, generate revenue and to build a business. This requires openness and coordination. Openness requires sharing, communicating and not fearing what others will do with your information. Coordination requires more than just sitting in partner meetings together. It requires getting to know each other and having a means to share information.