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Origination playbook: How new partners can become rainmakers

October 23, 2019

Each year, law firms welcome promising lawyers into their partnerships. For new partners, this milestone offers clear professional and financial benefits—but the transition from associate to partner also comes with new challenges and obligations.

New partner challenges

While some of the challenges facing new partners are easy to resolve (e.g., how should they handle benefits now that they’re no longer technically considered “employees”?), others are harder and require new skills to be learned. Take, for example, the expectation that partners will contribute to the success of their firms by generating new business.

Origination is the necessary stock in trade for anyone who wants to succeed in a law firm. But how can a new partner—who, as an associate, may not have had an opportunity to build up a robust book of business—make the transition to rainmaker? It helps if the partner can offer a solution that benefits both clients and the firm.

3 Ways litigation finance can help

Increasingly, lawyers have turned to litigation finance as a practical tool to generate new business. Financing can help women in law be better rainmakers, and similarly, it can be useful for new partners working to build client relationships.

New partners can use litigation finance to:

  1. Win over contingency fee committees
    In litigation finance, an outside financier can assume the expense and risk of pursuing a commercial claim or pool of matters, in exchange for a portion of the ultimate award, if the matter is successful (if it is unsuccessful, the financier loses its investment). Therefore, litigation finance can help new partners boost origination by enabling their firms to take on cases without adding to firm risk.
  2. Approach potential clients
    Litigation finance allows new partners to pitch clients with alternative billing arrangements that offer potential clients options to retain the lawyers of their choice. This can be a huge advantage for clients with meritorious litigation facing budget pressure, who otherwise may be forced to make the difficult choice between working with a less capable law firm or not pursuing the matter at all.
  3. Demonstrate ambition and innovation
    By bringing litigation finance to the table, new partners can advance their standing with the firm and their careers overall. As importantly, by showing clients that they’re innovative thinkers who are ambitious about representing their clients’ interests, they position themselves as a partner for the long-term.