Consolidation has been a fact of life in the legal and professional services sectors for at least two decades. As the economy gradually emerges from enforced hibernation, many firms will be dusting off existing merger plans, considering a merger as part of their revamped post-COVID-19 strategy or, in some cases, urgently seeking a merger as a means of avoiding financial distress.
A panel of experienced advisers to Law Firms and other Professional Services Firms will join the Chair and the Managing Partner of recently merged law firm Moore Barlow LLP, to share their commercial, legal and practical advice and experience in preparing a firm for a merger, the mechanics and common terms for a merger deal and the best approach to ensure the successful execution of a merger and integration of the merged firm.
The panel will address the unique legal, operational and strategic issues for Professional Services Firms, including:
1. Recent research on why firms merge and what really drives merger performance
2. Formulating a merger strategy and business case (as part of the firm-wide strategy)
3. Advance planning and addressing confidentiality and other “house-keeping” issues
4. Finding and attracting the right merger partner
5. Avoiding time-wasting and dead ends by uncovering deal-breakers as early as possible
6. Securing and sustaining partner buy-in and approval for the merger
7. Practical tips on how to lead a firm through transformational change
8. Managing dissenting partners and avoiding unlawful discrimination
9. People issues and engagement
10. How to ensure successful post-merger integration
Event Details and Registration
Date: 17 July 2020
Time: 9:00am – 10:15am BST
Chair: Zulon Begum (CM Murray LLP)
Speakers: Sarah Chilton (CM Murray LLP), Robert Millard (Cambridge Strategy Group Limited) and Helen Goatley and Edward Whittington (Moore Barlow LLP)
About the Speakers
Zulon Begum is a partner at CM Murray LLP specialising in Partnership Law and leads the non-contentious partnership practice at the firm. Zulon has extensive experience of advising professional and financial services firms and senior equity partners on a range of partnership and corporate matters. She has particular expertise in M&A, structuring and partnership governance and has played a key role in a number of high-profile professional services firm mergers, both national and international.
Sarah Chilton is a partner at CM Murray LLP specialising in Partnership and Employment Law and leads the contentious partnership practice at the firm. Sarah advises professional services firms, including many law firms, on a wide range of partnership and employment issues. She has particular expertise in relation to partner conduct issues, investigations, discrimination and whistleblowing, contentious exits and partnership dissolutions, as well as partner restrictive covenant and team move issues, and associated disputes.
Robert Millard is director of the Cambridge Strategy Group, a management consultancy that specialises in advising professional services firms.His particular practice focus lies at the intersection of strategy and digitalisation-induced business model transformation. Rob is currently in the final stages of a ground-breaking doctoral research project on value creation on large law firm mergers. He has unique and up to date insights on why firms merge and what really drives merger performance and success.
Helen Goatley is a partner and chairman of Moore Barlow LLP, the newly created firm following the merger between Moore Blatch LLP and Barlow Robbins LLP on 1 May 2020. Helen Goatley was the Chairman of Barlow Robbins for just over 3 years and played an instrumental part in the negotiation of the merger which formed Moore Barlow. She has retained the role of Chairman, responsible for ensuring good governance of the firm as it delivers its strategic purpose.
Edward Whittington is managing partner of Moore Barlow LLP, the newly created firm following the merger between Moore Blatch LLP and Barlow Robbins LLP on 1 May 2020. His position involves chairing the Executive Board and being responsible for the general management of the firm which has 70 equity partners, 500 people and £38M turnover; with offices in the City of London, Richmond upon Thames, Woking, Guildford, Southampton and Lymington. Moore Barlow is focused on delivering legal services to support people, families and people-led organisations and businesses through the challenges and opportunities they face over the long term.