The typical press release announcing a law firm merger extolls the excitement, the opportunity to have one plus one equal three, and the great fit of culture, practices and people.  It’s perfect until it is not.  In fact, by some measures more than half of all law firm mergers fail. When the realization sets in that your law firm merger is a bad one and not the combination of your dreams, what can you do?

Besides whistling past the graveyard, you’ve got to do something.  And while a solution stimulated by panic is not recommended, prompt action is advisable. As action plan options go, the following three options generally are presented and often are considered:


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Almost daily, lawyers come together and open new law firms.  High expectations accompany such births.  With owners committing to work hard, promising to exercise given and acquired skills, and counting on a little (but not too much) luck, the newly created institution teases with the prospect of success.

The positive vibes at inception may be

Firms often find themselves with too many non-equity partners whose performance could and should be better.  But because of a long string of promotion decisions and/or lax management, the non-equity partner pool is bigger than desired and its overall contribution to the firm is, in a word, disappointing.  Indeed, many equity partners see this middle

In a time of increased competition among law firms, a firm’s positive news, developments or performance always seems welcome. Peer recognition for the firm is nice. Likewise, having clients show confidence in the firm by hiring it again and again naturally is a boost of confidence. And climbing revenues and profitability is almost always viewed

To what degree do you and your partners share aspirations? The answer may, more than anything else, be an indicator of your future.

Few would deny that the legal market is increasingly complex and competitive. Many suggest the model for success is changing.

But whether you are one of two or three partners launching a

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.
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