If you’re keen to grow your legal business, there are many ways to do this. We often work with firms who are exploring the option of acquiring a bolt-on from another firm.

This is a type of asset acquisition that allows you to take on a new area of work quickly and efficiently. What exactly this will look like will depend on the kind of asset you’re taking on and the needs of the firm that is looking to divest it. In the majority of cases, it means taking over a team or book of work from a firm who are no longer able or willing to continue that line of work themselves.

Our experienced consultants can be by your side for the entire process, either as your lead advisor or as an impartial honest broker who supports all parties involved.

Together we will:

Market review and approach
  • Evaluate your reasons for acquiring a bolt-on and review any possible alternatives.
  • Build a longlist, and then a shortlist, of firms who may be open to divesting.
  • Make the first anonymous approaches on your behalf.
Legal and due diligence
  • Produce necessary legal documents such as NDAs, heads of terms and transfer agreements (including TUPE).
  • Advise on employment matters, property ownership and the position of partners, whether they’ll be leaving or staying.
  • Manage extensive due diligence checks on both sides.
  • Negotiate key areas to minimise any possible risk.
  • Consider funding and payment terms.
  • Explore tax issues from both points of view.
  • Decide how to best arbitrage any available tax breaks.
  • Advise on any regulatory and compliance issues, including successor practice rules ABSs for external funders and assigning CFAs.
Deal structure and negotiation
  • Determine the most beneficial way to structure the bolt-on purchase.
  • Assess the relative merits of the allocation of the purchase price, whether that’s upfront, on deferred terms, retained equity or earn outs.
  • Negotiate a strong deal for you.
  • Identify any deal breakers.
  • Tell you when to walk away, if necessary.
Post-deal implementation
  • Ensure we’ve achieved a good cultural fit with any assets transferred.
  • Manage and maintain a successful integration long term.

If you’re preparing to expand your business by taking on a bolt-on, we can help. Let’s talk about how we can guide you through the process efficiently and successfully.