Law Firm Disputes

Hoffman Alvary has advised counsel and testified on behalf of law firms in disputes with current and former partners related to partner compensation practices, partner retirement practices, firm valuation and other financial and managerial issues.  Our Law Firm Consulting practice gives us broad, real-time experience with common approaches to law firm management and governance.  Further, our deep knowledge of law firm economics and strong financial and accounting backgrounds give us an uncommon vantage point for evaluating potential damages claims.  This expertise, combined with our firm’s experience as expert witnesses in a variety of dispute resolution settings, makes Hoffman Alvary well-suited to provide testimony on these issues.

Some examples of our experience in this area include:

  • Partner Compensation and Retirement Issues – We were retained on behalf of a law firm in a dispute with a former partner over compensation and retirement policies.  Our analysis focused on whether the firm’s policies and practices were commonly used by law firms and if the treatment of the retiring partner was consistent with established policy.
  • Non-Equity Partnership Arrangement – We were retained to present testimony on law firm partnership structures and on typical rights and roles of non-equity partners. 
  • Realizable Value of a Law Firm Partnership Interest – In the context of a law firm merger, a departing partner made a claim for the value of his ownership interest immediately before the merger transaction.  Hoffman Alvary was retained to present testimony on the appropriate method and calculation of the economic value of the partnership pre-merger.  
  • Contingent Fee Allocations to Former Partner – We analyzed accounting records including work-in-process, out-of-pocket disbursements and offsetting expenses to determine amounts due a former partner from contingent fee matters that resolved subsequent to his resignation from the partnership.
  • Payments Due Deceased Partner’s Estate – This analysis included a review of the partnership agreement’s provisions on payments owed to a deceased partner’s estate.  Our work involved accounting for collections, recalculating offsetting expenses and computing amounts due the estate.