Due diligence is an essential part of the lateral partner hiring decision. In addition to practice and cultural fit, law firms must verify your book of business, avoid client conflicts, and manage risks as much as possible. Factors taken into account include your reputation, revenue origination, client relationships, and business portability. After preliminary meetings to establish threshold suitability and fit, most law firms will ask you to complete a lateral partner questionnaire (LPQ) to facilitate that process.
Timing the information request can be a delicate issue. The potentially acquiring firm may find it difficult to properly present the opportunity to you without knowing the extent of your practice. Similarly, you may be reluctant to share “confidential” information until there is a significant level of interest on behalf of both parties. Consequently, some law firms bifurcate the LPQ, with the first part asking for basic information shortly after initial meetings to ensure there are no “deal killers”. The second half, requesting further detail and more sensitive information, is required when a potential offer is on the horizon.