As the legal industry matures, individual law firms are considering structural options to increase the depth and breadth of their practices and assure the stability of their organization. For many firms this involves some form of consolidation or cooperative arrangement with another law firm. Among the merger services Edge International has been called upon to provide are:
- Transactional Advisor. Law firm mergers and affiliations are substantially different from corporate mergers and acquisitions. We provide firms with objective insights and experience as they consider, negotiate and implement consolidations and affiliations.
- Merger Partner Search and Analysis. For many firms, merger consideration is akin to serial blind dating; repeated discussions based on circumstance rather than the achievement of objectives. We work with firms to understand their growth objectives and then systematically assist them in seeking and evaluating potential merger partners.
- Affiliations. Often, the objectives desired by a client can be achieved without the cultural disruption and financial risk of a merger. We assist firms is designing affiliation to meet their strategic needs while reducing their exposure and possible negative consequences.
- Swiss Vereins. For firms considering international mergers, we assist in designing Swiss Verein structure to permit them to create a joint marketing platform and consolidated service offering while limiting their financial consolidation and avoiding tax and regulator problems.
- A large British firm with offices though out Europe and the Middle East was seeking to establish a presence in the U.S. They were interested in firms with strong transactional practices that did not involve large litigation components, together with a series of industry and geographic preferences. We created a detailed template of the firm’s needs and designed a rating system to consider over 600 U.S. firms. Working with our client, we funneled the number of candidate firms to six and performed “deep” dive” background investigations before making contact and establishing conversations with two firms. The result was one of the largest and most successful international Swiss Verein mergers in history.
- Our client, a mid-sized Southeastern firm with several exceptionally strong practice areas, was approached by a national firm seeking to enter their region. During the merger discussions, a second national firm approached our client with an alternative proposal. We assisted the firm in considering their options and eventually recommended that our client remain independent for the immediate future.
- Two similarly sized firms in separate large cities on either end of a state were discussing consolidation to compete more effectively with large out-of-state firms that were entering their market. Each firm had a small office in each other’s city. We assisted the firms in working out the details of merging their partner compensation systems, consolidating their offices in each city, working out the details of combining a partnership with a professional corporation that operated on different fiscal years, and dealing with underproductive partners who were not invited to join the combined firm. The merger took effect within less than 100 days after discussions commenced and continues to operate successfully.
- A real estate boutique in a Southwestern city was being courted by a large local firm to join their real estate department. We assisted the boutique in negotiating their merger while creating a retirement buyout as part of the transaction for the firm’s two founding partners. Subsequently we were hired by the acquiring firm to advise them in two similar mergers with smaller firms.
"We invited a number of selected firms to propose on assisting us with our strategic planning. Initially we received 4 proposal, from Hildebrandt, McKinsey, Edge International, and The Zeughauser Group. We had a late entrant, from the Gallup Organization. At the end of the day, Edge presented the most compelling case for our selection. We think they are the hands down best choice because they have the insight, experience, and process to best support our efforts. Their clients have all confirmed that they bring considerable skill and experience to the event, think differently than other consultants, are very intuitive and adaptable, run good process, are very proactive, don't tell you what they think you want to hear, and deliver on their promises."