In recent years, we have worked on a number of law firm mergers where one of the firms was in a significantly weakened position relative to its past. More often than not, these mergers fail to move forward because there is too much uncertainty about the stability of the firm, the deterioration of its financial condition, and the questionable commitment of key partners to remain with the combined firm.
It would be a significant understatement to say that negotiating and executing a merger in the middle of a pandemic is complicated. However, it is not impossible. While we expect merger activity among law firms to be down in the second half of 2020, we are seeing an increasing number of firms begin to reinvigorate their growth strategy and consider merger.
Mergers among law firms are continuing to occur at a high rate. And more firms than those completing mergers are engaged in exploratory discussions to determine if a merger makes strategic and business sense. Periodically assessing the firm’s competitive position and strategic priorities can help to assess merger inquiries from the perspective of what is best for the firm.