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This guide is designed to provide information about the retirement process. It identifies items to consider in developing your plan and provides resources containing additional information and templates.
View a printable version of the full Retirement Guide. You may also want to review the Business Continuity and Succession Plan Guide and Checklist for additional information.
The terms “winding down”, “winding up” and “retiring” are used interchangeably. They all mean getting the practice to a place where you can close the door and walk away knowing the files are closed or in good hands, trust account monies are managed or disbursed and your status with the Law Society is updated.
While this guide addresses “retiring from the practice of law” this it is not the same as “resigning from the Law Society”. These are two different matters, which will be addressed later.
Note that this is not, and cannot, be a one-size-fits-all guide. Your circumstances are your own. You may be a sole practitioner, or in a small or medium-sized firm. Or you may have spent your whole career at a national firm, in-house, or any combination of these.
The contents of this guide describe a complete wind up of a sole practice, or a small firm, with elements that are applicable to all types of practices. A solo or small firm practice scenario involves the most considerations, tasks and processes, which is why it has been chosen as the model for this guide. No matter where you have spent your career, there will be some take-aways from the broader process. Regardless of where you are now, you will still need to decide on your future career plans, effective date to implement your plans, and what status you will carry with the Law Society after that date.
Above all we want to emphasize that planning is essential. So, too, is allowing yourself enough time to get everything done. Remember that the Code of Conduct requires you to consider how your actions are going to affect your clients.
The Law Society has certain steps and processes that must be addressed. We suggest referring to the Working Through the Tasks checklist that identifies the necessary steps and offers some suggestions for timelines.