Professor Hillman Comments on Law Firm Notice Provisions for American Lawyer
Professor Robert Hillman commented for American Lawyer on the notice provisions that are a seldom-enforced part of partnership agreements at many large law firms.
Provisions requiring partners to give 30-90 day notice before changing firms are enforceable in theory, and some firms-particularly smaller operations or those dominated by a "single, strong personality"-are more apt to attempt to apply them. But in practice, firms have little hope of getting an injunction to stop partners from leaving or landing damages if they do just walk out the door, and waiving the notice period once can make it difficult for firms to hold partners to it in the future, Hillman said.
"The words in the partnership agreement are not necessarily the last words on the subject," he said.
Robert Hillman is a Professor of Law and holds the Fair Business Practices and Investor Advocacy Chair at UC Davis School of Law. He is a scholar in the fields of international transactions, securities regulation, and corporate and partnership law.