Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Category Archives: Law Firm Merger

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Improving the Odds with Law Firm Expansion

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
  Virtually every week brings news about law firm expansion.  The news is exciting and of great interest in and out of the legal services industry. Although the firms that report lateral hires, mergers and acquisitions and new office openings are pleased with their news to share, the passage of time proves that not all… Continue Reading

How Do You Measure Successful Law Firm Growth?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger
  I have shared numerous posts focusing on the dismal performance associated with non-organic law firm growth — that is, growth achieved through merger or lateral hiring. An excellent recent post by Eric Dewey, has prompted me to focus on a critical aspect of the lateral/merger conversation. Peter Drucker, (credited as the founder of modern… Continue Reading

Improving Your Law Firm’s Growth Prospects-The Importance of Discipline

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
  For many law firms client expectations, increased competition (from traditional and non-traditional sources) and unreliable demand present formidable challenges. These challenges can be compounded as a firm’s senior lawyers age and succession gets added to a firm’s “to do” list. Some firms have responded to these issues by growing through lateral hiring or merger… Continue Reading

Six Keys To Integration Planning and the Successful Law Firm Merger

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
We have discussed the substantial challenges associated with law firm mergers and their woeful success rate in previous posts. But a frequently overlooked piece of a successful merger — an element that warrants serious attention — is a comprehensive integration plan. Combining two groups of people, their clients, processes and systems is a daunting task… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Today-Aligning the Cultures

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition
Merger is a frequent law firm activity, especially in recent years. Based on a recent review of Altman Weil’s MergerLine, over 600 mergers and acquisitions have closed since 2007. While not all the deals identified by MergerLine have been true mergers, many of the “non-mergers” nonetheless have been significant because they represent the near full… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-Four Rules to Follow

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Mergers between law firms garner headlines. Just last week, Kansas City’s Husch Blackwell was in the news when it announced that it was merging with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., a Wisconsin based business and litigation firm. The merger comes less than year after Husch Blackwell’s Chairman Maurice Watson described the firm’s newly adopted strategy of… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger or Combination-A Solution That Can Suit Many Situations

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
As we have seen recently, law firm combinations have continued at a brisk pace. In layman’s terms, most of the combinations are referred to as mergers although many are at best “merger-like.” Indeed, “true” mergers appear to be the exception and not the rule as law firm combinations continue to be announced. Gina Passarella wrote… Continue Reading

Merger and the Small to Medium Sized Law Firm: A Recipe For Success

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Uncategorized
Law firm news continues to include reports of record profits for some — small and large alike. But the news is far from all good. The reports of desperate struggles for survival are regular; and far too frequently, the headlines include news of the latest law firm closure. In the midst of it all, law… Continue Reading

Market Entry the Orrick Way: Pros and Cons

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP made its entry into the Houston legal market last week. It announced that it had attracted 15 Houston based attorneys from 6 firms to plant the Orrick flag in the Bayou City. Pulled from Andrews Kurth, DLA Piper, Haynes and Boone, McDermott Will & Emery, McGuire Woods and Susman Godfrey,… Continue Reading

Merger As A Solution for the Underperforming Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring
  As we approach the close of another year, a number of law firms are finding themselves underperforming relative to peer firms. For some, it is deja vu…for the second, third or fourth consecutive year. You don’t need anyone to tell you that this is not a great way to venture into a new year.… Continue Reading

Another Record Year for Law Firm Mergers-Reasons Your Law Firm Should Not Be Next

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Transition, Law Firm Warning Signs
In a newly posted piece, Casey Sullivan‘s Law Firm Mergers Reach Highest Point in Nearly a Decade reports that 2016 is to be yet another record year for law firm mergers.   As the cascade of announcements show (as well as the Altman Weil research compiled in its Mergerline), merger as a law firm strategy has gained… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger — An Ideal Time To Evaluate The Cost of Operating

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
  If your law firm is considering a merger, it is a perfect time to evaluate the operating cost associated with the combined organizations. Mergers are risky transactions. Having operating costs in line from day one will decrease pressure on the new entity. Although all costs should be evaluated, we will focus on three areas… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger: Five Compatibility Metrics

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
To merge, or not to merge? That is the question. More and more law firms face that issue these days. We often advise law firms facing that watershed possibility and take them from considering merger in the abstract to addressing its reality. But because roughly 50% of mergers reportedly fail, properly evaluating a potential merger… Continue Reading

Thinking Law Firm Merger? Here Are 3 Ways To Test Compatibility

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
A law firm merger is much like a marriage. The greater the degree of compatibility, the higher the probability the relationship will work for the long term. While the “dating” process may be enjoyable, when you begin talking merger, you’re talking about hitching your professional well-being to the productivity and stability of another law firm,… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-What Makes Merger Success Likely?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
A headline from last week announced the law firm merger of Dykema with Texas’ Cox Smith.  Although Michigan based Dykema already had a foothold in Texas, its merger with well-regarded Cox Smith represents a significant commitment by Dykema to its Texas strategy.  The Dykema/Cox Smith combination also is further evidence that law firm mergers are… Continue Reading

Strategy of Merger: Four Steps for Success for Law Firm Leaders

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
This blog post was originally posted, in late October, by Kevin McKeown at Above the Law and his blog Leadership Close Up.  Kevin has been a tremendous resource for us and has guided us greatly as we work at delivering meaningful content about the legal industry and the significant changes it faces. These are challenging times for the… Continue Reading

Distressed Law Firm Acquisitions-The Times May Be Perfect (Part Two)

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Liquidation, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
As reviewed in Part One last week, the example of the Morgan Lewis/Bingham McCutchen mass lateral transaction may serve to stimulate the pursuit of distressed firms by healthy firms. Although distressed law firm transactions are nothing new, the model of that deal plus two new legal developments may foster greater distressed law firm activity. The first… Continue Reading

Distressed Law Firm Acquisitions-The Times May Be Perfect (Part One)

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
This is the first of two installments that examine the changing landscape of distressed law firm acquisitions and how recent developments may encourage healthy firms to pursue struggling firms like never before. Last week, the long-anticipated Morgan Lewis acquisition of a core component of Bingham McCutchen’s practice was announced. Described as a mass lateral acquisition as opposed… Continue Reading

Strategic Attorney Departure-Deciding to Not Join in Your Law Firm’s Merger

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers have continued this year and are approaching last year’s record. For law firms, any number of motivations can lead to merger, but the common denominator is the perception that merger serves the greater good. Despite the onslaught of mergers, a vast number of mergers are less than perfect. And while a merger may… Continue Reading

Unwanted Law Firm Departures While Negotiating a Merger-A Test of Leadership

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers seemingly are announced weekly and continue a trend as to which most observers are accustomed.  Just last week Locke Lord and Edwards Wildman Palmer jointly announced the signing of a letter of intent to combine their two firms. Not all law firm mergers are marriages of equals, or instances when the strategic… Continue Reading
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