Managing Law Firms in Transition

Managing Law Firms in Transition

Tag Archives: Law Firm Compatibility

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

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

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

Law Firm Leadership and Merger-Finding the Right Fit

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Although this year’s transactions generally are smaller deals, the robust law firm merger market of 2013 has been continued into 2014. Mergers grab headlines, create excitement and almost always provide the merged firm a little boost from the afterglow of positive publicity. Unfortunately, any positive vibe from a merger will not last forever. And more… Continue Reading

Merging with Goliath-Key Considerations for the Smaller Law Firm

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
News about the search for a merger partner by Bingham McCutcheon has been in the media the past few weeks. If the search leads Bingham to the altar, its transaction likely will be among parties equally sophisticated and aware of the intricacies of law firm merger. After all, Bingham owes its current size to a… Continue Reading

Merging Your Law Firm As A Succession Plan-Five Key Considerations

Posted in Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
Every year law firms of all sizes merge. For some of the smaller law firms merging, the decision to combine may have been driven by the need for an effective succession plan. In these cases in which long-time management is unenthused about the prospect of turning the keys over the next generation, merger can be… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger-A Succession Planning Alternative

Posted in Law Firm Crisis, Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Succession, Law Firm Transition
In recent years, law firm mergers have been on the uptick and do not seem to be abating.  Big mergers reap a lot of publicity because the firms joining together often have household names. But as Catherine Ho reports, not all the law firm mergers involve the behemoths that grab the headlines. Ms. Ho’s Law Firm… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence–Operational Compatibility

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
A smart merger of two law firms requires careful study about compatibility. Fits between two law firms seldom are perfect. But if the cultures, financial metrics, clients and compensation systems generally are in sync, the opportunity for a successful merger exists. While one of these merger variables actually may be strained, harmony among the others… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence-Client Compatibility

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
A law firm considering a merger has a lot to think about.  Evaluating the differing cultures, financial metrics and compensation systems is a must. Merging two law firms without vetting the client fit is not only unwise, but it also is not likely to end well. Yet, finding an acceptable match in the two law… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence-Are the Compensation Systems Compatible?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition, Uncategorized
Last week was noteworthy because two major anticipated mergers were called off; Orrick/Pillsbury due to reported conflicts and Dentons/McKenna for what may be best described as “cultural reasons.”  But even if there were no conflict issues and cultures meshed well between two firms, most proposed mergers won’t get to a closing if their respective compensation… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence–Are the Financial Metrics Compatible?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Mergers of law firms garner a great deal of press and comment.  As noted by Debra Cassens Weiss, law firm mergers during 2013 have been numerous. Robert Denney’s Primer on Law Firm Mergers provides a useful guide about approaching law firm mergers.  Just last week, yet another merger was reported, this one involving the venerable firms… Continue Reading

Law Firm Merger Diligence–Are the Cultures Compatible?

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Leadership, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Repositioning/Turnaround/Restructuring, Law Firm Transition
Law firm mergers are being announced all the time.  As we saw in Jennifer Smith’s Big Law Mergers Questioned, their unveiling tends to stimulate extensive discussion.  The pace of mergers is ahead of last year and as Catherine Ho wrote in Law Firms Experience Big Jump in Mergers, the number of combinations in 2013 is… Continue Reading

Resolving Law Firm Transition By Merger–Important Compatibility Issues for Management’s Consideration

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 as Larry Bodine and Robert Denney recently reported, roughly 50% of mergers… Continue Reading

Thinking About a Law Firm Merger? If These Six Signs Exist, Give it Another Thought

Posted in Law Firm Growth, Law Firm Merger, Law Firm Warning Signs
Law firm growth through merger has been popular in recent years and does not appear to be abating.  Each consummated marriage had its reasons, ranging from client centered, substantively compelling or geographically helpful. Some combinations proved quite successful, others moderately so, while a few could be judged as failures. Deciding whether to combine law firms… Continue Reading
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