Daniel O’Rielly Partner
“We bring a unique combination of experience to the task of solving our clients’ problems – we are counselors and advisors, but we are also litigators – so our counsel to attorneys and law firms is based on a practical perspective of the daily practice of law and law firm management.”
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Direct 213-437-3912
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Daniel O’Rielly, an experienced litigator and trial attorney, advises and counsels California law firms and attorneys, focusing his practice on Legal Ethics Counsel, Law Firm Risk Management, Law Firm Formation and Dissolution, and Partner Departure Law.  Mr. O’Rielly’s clients are California law firms and California law firm practice groups.

Law Firm Counsel

Mr. O’Rielly represents California law firms regarding attorney ethics issues, practice management, and compliance:

  • Counsels and advises law firms on attorney ethics issues, including conflicts of interest, client confidentiality, attorney marketing, client solicitation, fiduciary duties, fee agreements, lawyer-client relationships, client communications, technology and social media ethics.
  • Serves as an outside General Counsel to law firms, advising on attorney ethics, compliance, and practice management.
  • Leads the Firm’s legal ethics review team for law firms and legal departments, identifying and implementing best practices, and identifying and resolving potential ethics compliance and practice management issues.
  • Publishes the California Attorney Ethics Counsel blog, reporting on recent developments and providing practical analysis of important attorney ethics issues affecting the daily practice of attorneys, law firms, and legal departments.

Law Firm Risk Management

Mr. O’Rielly advises California law firms regarding risk management, helping law firms to reduce their exposure to financial and reputational losses by identifying, addressing, and, when necessary, defending against risks:

  • Risk Identification: Helping California law firms to audit and analyze risk factors related to their practices, including issues such as conflicts screening, risk management processes and business practices to better understand the exposure the firm faces.
  • System, Process and Procedure Design: Designing systems, policies, processes, and procedures to minimize threats.
  • Advocacy: Mitigating the downsides of disputed issues and advising and counseling firms to ensure they are vigorously defended.

Law Firm Formation and Dissolution

Proper planning is a key component of any successful law firm or attorney transition. It is also a key element to ensuring the long-term success and viability of any legal practice—big or small.  Mr. O’Rielly counsels California law firms and attorneys on a wide variety of strategic business issues and transitions, including:

  • Partnership agreements and firm structure
  • Law firm financing and litigation financing
  • Law firm compensation systems
  • Law firm start-up planning
  • Law firm succession planning
  • Law firm mergers and dissolutions

Partner Departure Law

Mr. O’Rielly represents California law firms managing partner departure issues, providing counsel at every stage of the partner departure process.

  • Represents law firms in partner or group departures, regarding enforcing partners’ contractual obligations, enforcing restrictions on client or employee solicitation, and protecting the firm’s client relationships and intellectual property. He also represents law firms in acquiring lateral partners, including identifying and resolving potential conflicts of interest and similar issues.
  • Counsels law firms on the contractual, legal, and ethical obligations to firm partnerships and to clients, including analyzing financial rights and obligations, attorney ethics rules and requirements, and practical realities of client transition, leading to a partner transition plan that validates partners’ rights and confirms obligations.

Partnership Disputes

Mr. O’Rielly resolves disputes between partners and firms. He has successfully represented law firms and partners in partnership-related disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, civil conspiracy, tortious interference claims, unfair competition (California Business & Professions Code §17200), violations of trade secrets, defamation, fraudulent inducement, and electronic privacy claims.

Presentations

Sex, Lies, and Diligence: Legal Ethics in a New Era, presentation to California Lawyers Association, Labor and Employment Section, April 12, 2019

Legal Ethics in the Era of Law Firm Mergers and Vereins: Navigating Fee-Splitting, Referral, Conflicts, and Other Ethical Issues, CLE Webinar presentation, March 26, 2019

The Importance of Attorney Succession Planning, presentation to the Professional Advisors Roundtable, The Community Foundation of Mendocino County, May 9, 2017

Client Confidences and the Attorney-Client Privilege, presentation to the Professional Advisors Roundtable, The Community Foundation of Mendocino County, May 9, 2017

Publications

A Guide to the First Steps of Managing Your Firm’s Exposure, Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 16, 2019

Partner Departure Law: A Tale of Two Law Firms, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 8, 2019

Law Firm Resolutions to Consider for a Happy New Year, Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 11, 2019

Do You Know Why Your Law Firm Needs a Lawyer?, Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 4, 2019

Leaving your firm: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 6, 2018

Partner Departures Can Mean Bad Business for Law Firms, Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 3, 2018

What Partners Should Expect When Departing their Firm, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 9, 2018

Clients are Not Law Firm Property, and Neither are Lawyers, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 29, 2018

Should That Law Partner Stay or Should That Law Partner Go?, Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 28, 2018

Resolution: Dust Off the Partnership Agreement, Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 19, 2018

Law Firm Worst-Case Scenarios for Partner Departures, Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 8, 2017

Worst-Case Scenarios When You Decide to Leave Your Firm, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 17, 2017

A Checklist for Bringing in Lateral Partners, Los Angeles Daily Journal, October 13, 2017

Fall Cleaning: Reviewing Partnership Agreements, Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 25, 2017

Partner Departure Law: It’s Not Enough to React, You Must Plan, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 30, 2017

Leaving Your Law Firm: Who Can You Tell, and When? Attorney at Work, April 18, 2017

Protect Your Firm from Partner Departures, Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 7, 2017

Triggered: A Guide to the Causes of Partner Departures, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 3, 2017

Departing Your Law Firm Partnership: First Steps, Attorney at Work, January 31, 2017

Partner Departures: Realistic Expectations for Partners and Firms, Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 20, 2017

Partner Departures Aren’t Always Voluntary, Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 16, 2016

Partner Departures: Starting Questions for Departure Planning, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 18, 2016

Proceed Carefully When Partner Exits Suddenly, Los Angeles Daily Journal, October 21, 2016

Prepare for Departures Long Before the Day, Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 23, 2016

The Benefits of Leaving Your Firm the Right Way, Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 12, 2016

Partner Departure Law: Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run, Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 8, 2016

Why and When Partners Leave a Law Firm, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 9, 2016

Thinking of Leaving Your Firm? Plan Ahead, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 6, 2016

Do You ‘Notice’ When Partners Exit? Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 8, 2016

Partner Departures, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 14, 2016

5 Things to Consider When it is Time to Leave Your Firm, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 8, 2016