Edge International


Lateral Partner (Business Development) Integration

In a recent EIC article, I discussed the frustrations law firms experience in successfully recruiting desirable lateral partners; i.e., relatively few quality laterals willing to move for the large number of interested firms. The previous article laid out some strategies firms can adopt to be more successful in the recruiting land grab for lateral partners; however, once recruited, what do the law firm and the recruited lateral need to do post-recruitment in order to be successful? How can both firm and partner set, and have fulfilled, expectations that will cause each to ascribe unambiguous success to the relationship?

The below checklist lays out a framework firms might consider adopting in some form to create a track record of success with lateral partner integration efforts, and in so doing, make it easier to recruit the next desirable lateral partner. These checkpoints are relevant during the recruiting process, and become operational tactics during the onboarding process.

“It Takes a Village”

Clear definition/articulation of why the firm is unique; the “Value Proposition”

Establish lateral integration committee

Best practices intake

Synergy analysis

 Integration/synergy plan

Law Firm Partner Accountability

Communication Strategy

Lateral Partner Objectives/Plan


Mike White

was a practicing attorney for seven years prior to founding and operating two enterprise software companies — Sirius Systems (sold 1997) and MarketingCentral (sold 2007). He owned and managed ClientQuest Consulting, LLC for 10 years serving law firms. He holds an AB in History from Duke University and a JD from Emory University School of Law.