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How midsize law firms are adapting their succession planning during the pandemic

William Josten  Senior Legal Industry Analyst, Thomson Reuters

William Josten  Senior Legal Industry Analyst, Thomson Reuters

Midsize law firms occupy perhaps the most unique space in today’s legal market. First, they are probably the hardest segment of law firms to define, as the midsize legal space ranges from firms that could, under some definitions, be considered small firms with only 30 or 40 lawyers, all the way up to firms that rival those in the Am Law rankings.

As such, midsize firms feel pressure on all sides: From their clients who demand top quality service and outcomes, but at a price point that is more favorable than BigLaw firms; from large firms who in many cases enjoy and take advantage of a higher degree of brand prestige; and from smaller firms who can compete more aggressively on price.

Coupled with those factors is the reality that many midsize law firms are partner-heavy with a high percentage of their partnership now considering retirement. Succession planning and recruitment of junior partners and experienced associates has been a hot topic for midsize law firms for a number of years. And now, the weight of their succession planning realities has been made all the more acute as a result of the pandemic and its impact on partner retirements and the ability of law firms to hire and retain talented professionals.

In a new podcast on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, we speak to Bryan Feldhaus, a shareholder at law firm Lommen Abdo in Minneapolis. Feldhaus chairs the firm’s succession planning committee, and he discussed how his firm is coping with the realities of managing and acquiring talent in a midsize firm today.


Listen to the full podcast with Bryan Feldhaus of Lommen Abdo on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel here.


In his practice, Feldhaus said he provides clients practical, business-savvy legal advice in three areas: he helps clients develop litigation and compliance strategies to mitigate their business risks; he analyzes and advises clients on legal, regulatory, and compliance interests to improve business sustainability; and he manages and advocates for clients in litigation and regulatory proceedings to remediate liability concerns.

He also serves as compliance counsel for a number of the firm’s corporate clients, having recently obtained an LLM degree in corporate compliance and organizational ethics from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.


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