There is almost no tolerance for a poorly conceived or ineptly executed merger.
What is the strategic business case?
You cannot depend on good intentions and luck to make a merger successful.
Our law firm mergers team can help you to move from an interesting opportunity to a solid strategic business case that will clarify the benefits and point out the most serious risks. We will also guide you through the process of evaluating the business case to make a well-informed decision.
We also help our clients apply the same intellectual rigor to decisions about joint ventures, strategic alliances, and membership in law firm networks.
cultural due diligence
Most law firms do a good job of business due diligence when merging with or acquiring another firm. Unfortunately, they sometimes overlook the single most important factor in achieving a successful merger -- the cultural and organizational compatibility of the merging firms.
Walker Clark offers a unique, deep-drilling evaluation of the organizational and professional cultures of the merging firms and their potential impact on the future success of the merger. When potential problems appear, we evaluate and quantify their financial and strategic impact on the value of the merger; but we also recommend strategies to solve them or, at least, to minimize their effects. As part of our cultural due diligence service, we work with both firms going forward to implement our recommendations and to achieve the results that each firm expects.
when a merger has produced disappointing results
There are more law firms today that are the product of a recent merger or substantial acquisition than at any other time in the history of the legal profession. Most of these mergers have produced disappointing results.
Even the best-planned merger can sometimes fail in implementation. There are a number of reasons. For example:
- client and partner departures, many of which should have been anticipated
- failure to identify and address unprofitable client sectors and practice areas
- avoiding discussions about unsatisfactory partner performance
- failure to present a clear positive message to the market
- fundamental differences in workplace culture
- the persistence of separate, mutually-inefficient systems and operating procedures
We offer a unique Post-Merger Business Review, which evaluates the merged firm's performance, diagnoses the most likely causes of disappointing results, and presents prioritized recommendations and supporting metrics. The best time to conduct the review is approximately 6-18 months after the merger; but it can help your firm to define, understand, and solve merger-related problems whenever they arise.
making the right decisions and fixing the not-so-good ones
Contact us to learn how Walker Clark® can help your firm to make well-informed decisions about mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, or strategic affiliations, which will make sense for your current situation and your future potential.
For background information and commentary about law firm mergers and cultural due diligence, visit the Walker Clark WorldView blog.