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New ABA book helps lawyers, firms plan for retirement

New ABA book helps lawyers, firms plan for retirement

By Matthew (Matt) Stegen

CHICAGO, May 28, 2013 — Succession is a fact of life ­ even for law firms. Founding partners retire, rainmakers depart, and, in the process, client relationships must be preserved.

Peter A. Giuliani’s new book, Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned: A Guide to Law Firm Retirement and Succession Planning, is a comprehensive examination of key economic issues typically encountered by law firms when they consider how partners end their careers. Giuliani, an experienced law-firm management consultant, illustrates common retirement issues and their resolutions through case studies from his years of consulting experience. This book will help lawyers:

  • Understand the basic economics of retirement and succession planning;
  • Take care of founding partners upon their retirement;
  • Bring new partners into the firm;
  • Select a retirement plan that’s best for the firm — and make it affordable for employees;
  • Weigh the costs and benefits of mandatory retirement;
  • Consider “emeritus status” alternative retirement plans;
  • Integrate compensation plans with retirement policies;
  • Think about selling their law firm; and
  • Understand special considerations for contingency-fee practices.

Author Peter A. Giuliani is a partner at Smock Law Firm Consultants in Lake Forest, Ill. His law firm management experience spans nearly 45 years, as a management consultant to law firms and other professional service firms and as executive director for seven years of Cummings & Lockwood, a 180-lawyer law firm based in Stamford, Conn. His specialties include strategic planning; financial management and law firm economics; administrative and technology infrastructure planning; strategic mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; and practice group management. 

Title:                           Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned: 
                                       A Guide to Law Firm Retirement and
                                       Succession Planning                           
Publisher:                ABA Law Practice Management Section
Pages:                          161
Product Code:         5110762
ISBN:                           978-1-61438-902-6
Size:                             7 × 10
Price:                          $79.95
Orders:                      800-285-2221 or ABA Web Store

Editor’s note: Review copies are available by sending an email to Lindsay Dawson at If you publish a review of this book, please send tearsheets or a copy for our files to Lindsay Dawson, American Bar Association, Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

The ABA Law Practice Management Section is a professional membership organization providing resources for lawyers and other legal professionals in the core areas of the business of practicing law — marketing, management, technology and finance — through its award-winning magazine, webzines, educational CLE programs, website and publishing division. For more than 30 years, LPM has established itself as a leader within the legal profession by producing ABA TECHSHOW, the world’s premier legal technology conference and expo, and through its publishing arm, which has more than 90 titles in print. 

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement, click here. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.

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