Business people, including lawyers, can become enamored of structure when the real issue is operational efficiency and stability, quality of service and “value” delivered to the client. Indeed, sometimes structures that are advertised
as making for economic strength, ultimately generate greater weakness when not handled properly.
In the case of the verein, one significant risk is that substantial costs for maintaining the global business model may not be justified or supportable to a group of partners with large books of business,who conclude that their proportionate share of contribution to the structure is far greater than any benefit received. The member firm with departures of partners or practice groups that receive little to no benefit of being in a global verein structure can weaken the association. The burden will have to be born by other members, who may not be able to withstand that additional cost.
(Reprinted with permission of The Daily Journal Corp. (2011).)
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