Law firm mergers

There are all sorts of reasons you might be seeking to merge with another, like-minded firm. It may be because you hope a merger will mean you’re better placed to face challenges such as growing overheads and increasing compliance burdens, or you may be considering it as an opportunity for growth.

Whatever your motivations, there are many things to consider as you go through this process. This is true whether your merger is a ‘true merger’ bringing together two similarly-sized organisations, or whether it might more accurately be considered an acquisition, disposal or bolt-on.

Not only does a successful merger require an enormous amount of management time, it can also call for a level of independence and objectivity that’s almost impossible to deliver from the inside.

We are founder members of the Association of Law Firm Merger Advisers and have decades of experience bringing firms together.

Our specialists work with firms like you to ease the merger process, whether that’s by acting as a lead advisor to one party, or by taking on the role of an impartial honest broker to help resolve issues for everyone involved.

Together we will:

Market review and approach
  • Evaluate your reasons for consolidation and review any possible alternatives.
  • Build a longlist, and then a shortlist, of firms who may be open to a merger.
  • Make the first anonymous approaches on your behalf.
  • Value your firm and, if appropriate, develop a range of possible deal structures.
Legal and due diligence
  • Produce necessary legal documents such as NDAs, heads of terms and business merger agreements.
  • 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 any relevant 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.
Merger structure and negotiation
  • Determine the most beneficial way to structure the merger.
  • Assess the relative merits of how to structure any financial aspects of the merger.
  • Negotiate a strong deal for you.
  • Identify any deal breakers.
  • Tell you when to walk away, if necessary.
Post-merger implementation
  • Ensure we’ve achieved a good cultural fit.
  • Manage and maintain a successful integration long term.

If you’re exploring the idea of a merger, please get in touch to find out how we could support you through the process.