We are delighted to bring you the recording of this expert discussion on Mergers in the Time of Coronavirus and Beyond. The Chair and the Managing Partner of the recently merged law firm Moore Barlow LLP joined our panel of legal and management experts to share their commercial, legal and practical advice for professional services firms seeking a merger, including:
1. Preparatory steps to ensure a successful merger
2. The importance of culture and focussing on the joint vision for the merged firm
3. How to secure partner buy-in and engage staff
4. Measures to deal with and protect firms against dissenting partners
5. Overcoming and avoiding potential deal breakers
Chair: Zulon Begum (CM Murray 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.
Pia Sanchez is a senior consultant at CM Murray LLP with an international employment law practice advising clients on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious international employment law, frequently with a cross-border element. Pia advises multinational companies, law firms, financial institutions and international senior executives, on a wide range of issues including harassment and discrimination allegations, whistleblowing, collective consultation issues amongst others. Pia is also an experienced legal trainer.
If you would like more information on mergers between professional services firms or to discuss any of the issues raised in this recording, please contact Partners Zulon Begum or Sarah Chilton, both of whom specialise in partnership law.