In the world of theatre, actors generally aim to make an orderly and uneventful departure from the stage – an exit stage left.

For business owners ‘exit stage left’ should be their ultimate goal. In the legal profession it seems we place less emphasis and attention on exiting our practices, and the impact of such departure on our clients and professional obligations, than we should. Our focus tends to be on the files in front of us, cashflow, and gaining greater market share.

For practitioners commencing practice as a principal practitioner, a lot of time and effort goes into completing the Practice Management Course and establishing a business plan to get the practice up and running sustainably. Perhaps, only fleetingly as part of that process we consider the exit strategy or the impact of failing to have an exit strategy.

It’s time to change the dynamics of the conversations around starting a legal practice. It’s time to start with the end in mind – What are you creating and why? What are your plans for the practice? How will the business operate without you? What are your options?

Even sudden, unexpected departures from practice can be ‘planned’ – your departure from the practice can seem more like an ‘Elvis has left the building’ announcement than a curtain-closing mid-act – in which case the disappointment from the audience, cast and crew would be palpable.

The QLS Ethics and Practice Support Contingency Plan Checklist can help you focus your attention on the plans you need to put in place to protect your clients and your business investment.


If you would like to discuss contingency planning, the Practice Advisory Service (PAS) is a confidential complimentary service to members offered by QLS Solicitor Support Pty Ltd (a wholly owned incorporated legal practice of QLS). Our consultants help you reality test your ideas and innovations, provide strategies to anticipate or overcome practice hurdles and help you achieve your goals.

Find out more about the Practice Advisory Service. If you would like to register your interest for a Practice Advisory Service visit, message

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