Loss of institutional memory when acquired lawyers never join or promptly leave

A large company that swallowed a succession of smaller companies during the past 10 years ended up keeping about half of the lawyers it acquired. One might assume that the 50% loss of institutional knowledge would hamstring those who remained. Not true.

Clearing out veterans, to the contrary, could be cathartic. “We don’t have to do what we always did, and just because some initiative didn’t work five years ago, perhaps it’s different now.”

Analogously, this urban myth makes me wonder about the risks of moving litigation that is well underway from one law firm to another. My hunch is that competent lawyers can come up to speed quite quickly if the files of the transferring firm have been kept orderly.

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