Historically we have brokered over 25 mergers involving a number of firms, both with and without an existing London presence. We have seen an exceptional level of activity in the last 12 months, and are currently retained by a number of international, City, West End and regional law firms to identify and broker suitable combinations. For more information on how we can assist your firm, please contact one of our directors see About Us.
Our prominence in the London law firm merger market is as a result of our focus on this area since the mid 1990s. Our experience includes brokering mergers involving almost 50 firms – more than any other legal recruitment consultancy in London. We brokered a further three mergers of varying sizes last year and we are currently working on several sets of ongoing talks with a number of firms with a variety of strategic objectives.
The past 20 years has witnessed substantial changes in the legal marketplace as law firms looked to consolidate and as globalisation continues, there is no reason to assume that the pace of change will diminish. Our reputation as leading merger specialists means we are well positioned both to advise on and shape our clients’ strategic growth plans.
It is often mistakenly assumed that the same techniques apply to a merger as a lateral hire. Whilst discretion and a thorough appreciation of the motivations, aspirations and cultures of both parties are fundamental and obviously apply to both areas of recruitment, the same procedures do not apply in reality.
In the context of a wide range of other considerations, the skill set required to affect a merger includes an understanding of when a merger is indeed the appropriate course of action for a firm, the key deal breakers, the levels of due diligence required and the issues surrounding post merger integration. We have specific financial accounting expertise and, where required, we can assist with forecasting models.
Both our experience at partner level and our substantial market knowledge enhance the value we can add to the merger process; whether that involves assessing if a firm is at the right stage to entertain a merger, identifying a suitable merger partner, negotiating throughout the process or finally facilitating a successful merger, and guiding the merged entity through any post-merger integration issues.
Financial Advice and Consultancy
Whilst other legal recruitment companies may provide consultancy advice by outsourcing the service, we have in-house qualified accountancy expertise and therefore accept direct instructions. The projects we undertake focus on or include the following:
Amongst other things, these include the production of cash flow, profit and loss and balance sheet forecasts and work relating to the production or interpretation of other pieces of financial and management information.
This can take a number of different forms. Some of the discrete matters that we have recently been asked to assist with include:
- i) advising a law firm on the advantages and disadvantages of employing a non-partner chief executive;
- ii) advising one international firm and two regional firms, all of which are contemplating London launches and/or mergers with London firms;
- iii) conducting interviews with every equity partner in a medium sized regional firm in order to discover the precise reasons for the firm’s under-performance, preparing a report and making recommendations to the equity partnership; and
- iv) advising our clients extensively on issues such as the application of the Legal Services Act, our views on the shape of firms in the medium term, etc.
Instructions will often flow from a firm’s belief that a merger is the way forward. After a series of meetings, however, it sometimes becomes clear that a firm needs to address other issues before entertaining, if ever, the prospect of merging.
Please contact Ian Mouland for our terms of business for consultancy work.