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effective for the larger family enterprise, as critical information is not kept
in one subsystem or professional silo. Advisors must learn to expand their
definition of client both in a longitudinal and latitudinal fashion. They must
consider the family relationships over multiple generations (longitudinal)
and the growth of families to include in-laws (latitudinal).
For lawyers who practise within the confines of conflicts rules and the
Code of Professional Conduct, a broader conception of the client presents a
unique retainer challenge. One way to address conflicts issues is to enter
into a written agreement with the initial client, often the owner-founder,
that permits communication and information sharing with other family
members and professionals working together as a multidisciplinary team.
The more specific the information sharing agreement, the better to avoid
misunderstandings or difficulties that may arise, particularly in the event
of family conflict.
Building and leading a multidisciplinary team
Continuity planning for family-owned businesses often brings together professionals
from diverse disciplines, including lawyers, accountants, family
therapists and management consultants.
Advisors may work in one or more of the three systems:
Board of Directors
These professionals have traditionally worked with families independently
of one another without the chance to compare their perspectives and form