M&A

Financial or Strategic M&A?

The industry standard in tracking law firm mergers, Altman Weil’s Mergerline, has had this to say about activity in the wake of the Global Financial Reset (emphasis mine): 2011:  “There were 60 law firm mergers and acquisitions announced in the United States in 2011.  The annual total was up 54% from 2010 and at the
read more…

Articles, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

M&A “Cultural Due Diligence”

The widely experienced and catholically curious Lee Pacchia (formerly of Bloomberg Law, now at his own Mimesis Law) asked me to stop by his studio last week and talk about the role of culture in law firm combinations.  I also touch on the issue of “deal momentum,” how to really try to get a handle on another
read more…

Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

M&A Due Diligence With a Soul

To paraphrase the gone-but-not-forgotten E.F. Hutton campaign (I did work on Wall Street—I’m allowed these memories), when a Director Emeritus of McKinsey, who founded and led the firm’s global practice supporting mergers and acquisitions, speaks about “culture” in the M&A context, people listen. The fellow is David Fubini, and he recently published Before a merger,
read more…

Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

“Seamless”?

A few weeks ago reports surfaced about a motion seeking to compel Norton Rose Fulbright to withdraw from representation of its client Duke University in a case brought against the university by the estate of John Wayne, which wants the right to market alcoholic beverages branded with Wayne’s “Duke” nickname—a textbook trademark dispute. The Wayne
read more…

Articles, Branding, Business Models, Client Relationships, Leadership, M&A, Marketing, Partnership Structures, Strategy

What’s Your Merger Score?

Law firm merger talk seems more in the air than ever, with deals and rumors of deals abounding and redoubtable resources such as Altman Weil’s MergerLine reporting record levels of activity. We would like to believe we’re relatively impervious to being swayed by what’s in vogue (or what’s not), and we certainly do not inhabit
read more…

Articles, Finance, M&A, Strategy

“Growth is Dead” Now an e-Book

We are delighted to announce that we have just published the complete 12-part series Growth is Dead as an e-book.  Demand from you, Dear Readers, to be able to have the entire series available in one spot, was unprecedented and trying to satisfy those requests was frankly one of our primary motivations.  (But we must confess
read more…

About the Site, Articles, Book Reviews, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Emerging Lessons

  Beginning to emerge are lessons from the implosion of Dewey. I’ve believed, and written, for some time that the root causes of the failure, which is massive, spectacular, tragic, and utterly unnecessary, were self-inflicted:  Unintentional suicide by drug overdose, if you will. The question that matters for those of us left standing is what can
read more…

Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy

“Dewey’s Fall Underscores Law Firms’ New Reality”—from The New York Times

OK, so we’re not quoted in the New York Times every day, and today we were, at not inconsiderable length, about Dewey. Here’s the The New York Times piece published on the front page of today’s Business section, by James Stewart. The photo is of three-time New York State Governor, Republican Presidential candidate (vs. Harry Truman),
read more…

Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Dewey II

The reaction to my last column on the developments at Dewey has been as strong as to any piece I can remember writing in the near-decade Adam Smith, Esq. has been around.   But for those of you who may be feeling overdosed on Dewey coverage, events are not letting the topic die—to the contrary, the firm’s
read more…

Articles, Business Models, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy

Dewey: 1909—??

Two firms have this week received far more press attention than, one suspects, they counted on or quite know how to cope with:  Our own industry’s Dewey LeBoeuf, and of course the iconic (good and bad sense) Goldman Sachs. Goldman Let’s take Goldman first.  Its moment—which is displaying a half-life far longer than the typical
read more…

Adam Smith Himself, Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy