Fairfax in the Press
Fairfax in the Press
Lisa Smith questions whether a city like Boston can be considered insulated anymore because of how many national firms have set up shop there.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “These were all firms that were performing well, have good rates and strong balance sheets and all those things,” Lisa Smith, a consultant at Fairfax Associates, said of the recent mergers. “these firms are operating from a position of strength in that they didn’t have to do anything.”
Kristin Stark is quoted discussing the impact of merger related growth of larger firms in smaller Midwest legal markets.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “We are continuing to see firms anywhere from 100 lawyers to 600 to 700 lawyers feel like they need more scale in order to compete effectively,” says Lisa Smith, a principal at Fairfax Associates. “I think we’ll continue to see consolidation in the form of laterals and groups or small acquisitions or mergers of equal size. Consolidation is going to continue to be big in 2020.”
Lisa Smith is quoted. “Those are priority growth markets for firms going national, and they are markets where it’s hard to get talent,” Smith said.
Kristin Stark is mentioned as having introduced the two firms to one another.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “It’s the bigger combinations that drive consolidation,” Smith said. “If there were 100 mergers of two-lawyer firms, they wouldn’t make much of a difference in the legal market.”
Lisa Smith is quoted. “It’s surprising this year that we haven’t seen the big mergers we have seen in the past,” adding that she wouldn’t rule out more significant combinations slated for Jan. 1, 2020, or beyond.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “The risk is always if the group splits – that people will make their own choices and say, ‘There may be a deal, but I’m a free agent,'” Smith at Fairfax, says.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “An interesting aspect of this [M&A activity] is that you may have fewer choices,” Smith says.
Lisa Smith is quoted. “Every firm I have spoken to that meets the size criteria says they’re applying,” said Lisa Smith, a principal at the law firm consultancy Fairfax Associates. “You can probably throw a dart to any firm with 200 lawyers and probably find one.”
Lisa Smith is quoted. “From what we’ve seen, most of the discussions that were happening have had to be put on hold. A lot of it does rely on face-to-face meetings,” Smith said. “For good reason, firms are very much focused on business continuity and operating their firms successfully. The ability to have the bandwidth to look at merger discussions as well as manage a business effectively just isn’t there.”