Colin Ives explores the key financial issues to manage in law firm merger negotiations

A merger is not right for all firms. There is a market position for a wide variety and sizes of firms with different types of practice areas, but this comes with an acceptance, by the partner group, of a certain type of business existence, stability and lifestyle. Each of these three criteria are important; the culture of the firm will determine the balance between them.

Firms not considering a merger will need to have a vision and understanding of the external market pressures and how they will impact upon their clientele, profitability and hence partner lifestyle.

Market changes

In the U...

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