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Succession Planning

It’s important to take action to determine how your law firm will evolve and grow and what its ultimate future will be. The succession or exit planning process is important regardless of whether your plan is to keep “working to the end”, exit at a certain age, gift or sell the firm to family members or key employees, or sell to a third party. Even if you have no plans to sell your firm, succession planning provides numerous benefits, including potentially minimizing estate taxes and understanding the levers to push or pull to increase the ultimate value of the operation.
The Vista team has led many businesses through the succession planning process. Should the goal be to sell the firm, there are key strategies to maximize its value:
  • Making sure you have the right team members in the right places doing the right things.
  • Implementing marketing strategies to position your overall firm brand and value.
  • Developing a firm that can exist without your hands on the day-to-day operations.
CEO Tim McKey with his two daughters, Vista Chief of Team Caroline Younger and Director of Talent Acquisition Sarah Waggoner
Vista can help you navigate the succession planning landscape, including:
  • Fully reviewing firm finances, as well as other non-financial information.
  • Assessing and calculating an estimate of firm value based on firm-specific scenarios [e.g., sale to a third party, sale to a related party, and sale/transition to current team member(s)]. Each scenario must take into account tax consequences, as well as personal and estate planning goals.
  • Refining the valuation estimate through the negotiation process.
  • Aiding a potential “seller” in search of a “buyer,” as well as evaluating the skills/aptitude of any potential external/internal “buyer.”
Many law firm owners are so wrapped up in running their successful businesses that they don’t take time for some deep contemplation to create a well-crafted plan for its eventual transition. We encourage you to gain an understanding of the many facets of planning that will allow your business to thrive more than ever, with or without you!

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