A&O now has an all-encompassing alumni network, including staff past and present. Why did it feel this was an investment which would reap dividends in the years ahead?

Every single year, at every firm in the land, lawyers depart for pastures new. A few are shoved out of the door or exit in acrimonious circumstances, but for the vast majority, leaving is nothing personal. They go to seek out a new challenge, or because a dream opportunity has come along, or because of a change in their priorities or life circumstances.

Whatever the reason, and wherever they go, the mere fact of their departure is not the end of their story with the firm they left.

They remain attached through dozens of ties; at the very least, in this day and age, in the form of LinkedIn connections but often more deeply in the friendships they have made with those who remain. Though a lawyer may have left the firm, they can stay plugged in to its gossip, politics and stories for years afterwards.

Equally, it is easy to lose touch as one’s life starts to go down a new path. And that can be detrimental – mainly to the firm, which could be missing out on goodwill at the very least, and potentially client and talent referrals.

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