Law Firm M & A – The Considerations
Posted on 19th July 2023 at 13:00
Mergers and Acquisitions are figuring much more in the conversations we’re having with our clients and new enquiries.
For some, priorities have changed and for the firms looking to grow, this presents an opportunity.
Whether you’ve done it before or this is the first time you’ve considered it, we have a few pointers to help you along the way.
It’s often the financials and the personalities that can make or break a deal and eventually a relationship can suffer if it's not given the time and consideration before the merger.
1. The Financials
Most business owners have worked hard to build a business in any sector in recent years and partners in any law firm would be no different. When it comes to the value of that business, most would be likely to have an expectation of the value being higher than the reality, it is natural. This is where the benefits of obtaining some knowledge and assistance can help.
When undertaking financial due diligence, an assessment of two potentially big numbers on the balance sheet is vital– work in progress (WIP) and debtors.
WIP is a great conversation starter on valuations. It obviously depends on which area of law is practised and in the same way we look at the lock uptime, we also consider how the times vary across the business where the industry sectors cross over.
2. The Culture The success of firms can be down to many factors but one that is often talked about by their leaders will often centre around its culture. Culture can take its form across systems, procedures, working practices, HR and personalities in senior management teams. With mergers in particular, where cultures have vast differences, this can lead to clashes and eventually failure. This can be mitigated during due diligence and audit by the team leading the process. Understanding these cultures across each of the firm’s spectrum and then integrating this into the delivery plan will enable a more successful transition. Creating a steering group with representatives from different levels at each of the businesses will ensure that messages and communications are shared effectively.
For further details:
Speak to our head of professions, Ryan O'Dwyer - Call: 01536 529 670 | DD:01536 529 668
Ryan works exclusively with law firms and understand all aspects of the legal market and requirements.
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