We are delighted to share the webinar recording of Part 1 in the Professional Practices Alliance webinar series, “Should we merge?” A discussion on whether, when and how to merge with another firm in which an expert panel explore how firms should plan and prepare for a merger.
In this webinar, you can hear Chair, Corinne Staves (Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP), Partner Zulon Begum (CM Murray LLP), Simon Slater (Guest Speaker, Cripps Pemberton Greenish and Byfield Consultancy), Giles Murphy (Guest Speaker, Smith & Williamson) and Rob Millard (Cambridge Strategy Group) discussing issues such as:
- Mergers are usually the riskiest growth strategy – are there other (less disruptive) routes (e.g., organic growth, lateral hiring) to realising the firm’s strategic goals?
- Identifying the right merger partner can take time and diligence and requires compromise as there is never a “perfect” merger partner.
- How to “win hearts and minds” to align partners with any merger strategy early in the process and ensure that the requisite partner approvals for any merger can be achieved.
- Advance preparation for a merger can make or break a deal; identify any “red lines” in advance and keep these to a minimum, and undertake “reverse due diligence” to identify any potential issues in your own firm and attempt to resolve these before they become a stumbling block to a merger (e.g., onerous annuities, adverse claims history/high PII costs, underperforming partners and expensive borrowing/leases).
- Consider what protections may need to be built into the merger agreement and/or the merged firm’s partnership agreement to ensure stability for the initial period after the merger, when firms are often at their most vulnerable e.g., a partner “lock-in” period, enforceable restrictive covenants and good/bad leaver provisions.
If you have any questions arising from this recording or would like to discuss law firm or other professional services mergers, or for any other partnership law issues, please contact our Partner and Head of Non-Contentious Partnership Practice, Zulon Begum.
The Professional Practices Alliance is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between leading UK independent legal, accounting and law firm management specialist advisers, CM Murray LLP, Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, Pep Up Consulting and Cambridge Strategy Group.
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