Many issues also require a solution, including business finances, loans, commitments and office leasing, which may or may not be terminated during a separation, Gainen notes. Some leases are difficult to break, so former partners live a space together temporarily. The dismemberment of a partnership can take a year, say both Farewell and Maginn. And even if the division is friendly, there may not be an immediate agreement on everything. After separation, issues such as residence contracts may still need to be addressed. According to David Dowell, the AIA, a principal at El Dorado, a history of honest communication between partners helped facilitate the departure of Maginn, who helped create the company. Equally important, Dowell says, is the recognition that separation “is part of life and will eventually happen.” Develop a sunset plan Whether you`re downing a business or partnering role, Maginn recommends “designing the transition from start to finish.” Tomecek proposes to develop a sunset plan that prioritizes “all necessary discussions,” from contract transfer and asset sharing to transfer of rights to company projects and allocation. Add a schedule to the plan, and when decisions are made, Gainen recommends “recalling” them in a termination contract. Even if it is consensual, the breakdown of a partnership can quickly unravel if it is not carefully planned, executed with care and negotiated with diplomacy and goodwill. To ensure a smooth transition, all parties must communicate openly to resolve a wide range of issues, including legal and financial comparisons; Assigning clients, project and staff and emailing to customers. The transition of clients and ongoing projects requires open and honest communication, as well as the desire for all parties to “come out with their fair share,” says Michael Farewell, Director of Princeton, N.J.-based Farewell Architects. If partners work in separate markets with little or no overlap, the allocation of clients may be more obvious, but it should nevertheless be decided unanimously.
If business ventures fail to reach an agreement on a customer, indicates a separation date beyond which an outgoing partner or partners can request them, Gainen says. At the end of the day, clients reserve the right to work with anyone. Create a robust agreementWith a comprehensive agreement that minimizes problems afterwards. Work with a lawyer to ensure that the agreement “reflects the nature of your corporate and partner relationship,” says Dan Maginn, FAIA, Principal of Draw Architecture – Urban Design in Kansas City, Mo., who left El Dorado in February. “It`s never too late to enter into a partnership agreement or to have an existing contract,” says Warren Friss, also a partner at Ingram Yuzek. Avoid contract submissions and texts. A sale-to-purchase clause is also important. “C801™-1993 will be used by two or more parties to finance their reciprocal rights and obligations when setting up a joint venture. Once established, the joint venture must enter into an agreement with the owner for the provision of professional services. The parts can be all architects, all engineers, a combination of architects and engineers or another combination of professionals. The document offers a choice between two methods of community operation. The “Division of Compensation” method assumes that the services provided and compensation received will be distributed among the parties in the proportions agreed upon at the beginning of the project.
The profitability of each party then depends on the individual performance of the pre-assigned tasks and is not directly related to that of the other parties.