M&A

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

Making M&A Actually Work

Lots of ink has been spilled lately about how M&A activity in the legal sector has picked up. Let’s stipulate that’s true.  I for one believe it to be the case, and have been involved in more conversations along those lines in the last several months than within any comparable earlier period. But what’s the
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy

2:1? 15:1? Or Another Answer Entirely?

A few days ago LegalWeek had a short piece announcing that: Hogan Lovells is set to offer marquee lateral hires above-lockstep pay deals as part of ambitious plans to dramatically expand its City M&A practice. The strategy is intended to underpin the firm’s commitment to upgrade the merged entity’s corporate practice in the City without
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy

“Merger” or “Joining?” “Noah’s Ark” or “Ostrich?”

By now we’ve all read about the Norton Rose/Ogilvy Renault/Deneys Reitz three-way combined business, putting together the UK, Canada, and South Africa. According to LegalWeek, “The combined business will rank as one of the world’s top 10 firms by headcount when the three-way tie-up takes effect next June, boasting more than 2,500 lawyers in 38
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Articles, Globalization, Leadership, M&A, Strategy

RIP Proskauer/Berwins

As has been widely reported (for example, on law.com), Proskauer and SJ Berwin announced shortly before the weekend that they had called off their merger talks, which were originally disclosed over half a year ago. The predictably anodyne statement, issued jointly, said merely: “we recognized that the timetable necessary to reach the agreements that would
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, M&A, Partnership Structures, Strategy