Merger Negotiation & Structure
Many firms have considered merger or engaged in some level of merger discussions at some point in the recent past. They are either proactively seeking strategic combinations or are approached by other firms. While many lawyers are used to representing their clients in M&A transactions, the process of combining two law firms is substantially different. We bring extensive experience with domestic and cross-border mergers with firms of all sizes.
We work with firms to plan the merger process and facilitate meetings; conduct the due diligence and financial analysis required; develop a robust business case for the combined firm; develop governance structures, practice structures, and compensation approaches; prepare materials for presentation to the partnership; and participate in partnership meetings to consider the specific transaction. We also provide frank and objective advice about the viability and attractiveness of a particular combination and often advise that firms end discussions that are not supported by a sufficiently strong strategic, financial, and/or cultural fit.
Our Principals have written two books on law firm mergers – “Anatomy of a Law Firm Merger,” published by the American Bar Association (2004), and “Law Firm Mergers: Taking a Strategic Approach,” published by Palgrave Macmillan (2005)—as well as authored the chapter “How to Merge: Lessons from 20 Years of Law Firm Mergers,” published in “Law Firm Strategies for the 21st Century” by Globe Law and Business (2013).