The Law Firm Merger: A Leader's Guide to Strategy and Realisation

This report is a guide for law firm leaders on merger strategy and realisation. It provides in-depth advice on the merger process and highlights a number of issues which need the attention of the leadership team; both immediately post-announcement of the merger and then during the initial integration period.

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  • Publication date: March, 2014
  • Pages: 146
  • ISBN: 9781783581177
  • This book will develop SRA competency:


The legal services market is an increasingly hostile and dynamic market which is driving consolidation at a pace never before witnessed.

As a topic, merger and acquisition is on the agenda of most law firm leaders – at one extreme to keep a market watch on activity (even if there is no immediate intention to engage), and, at the other end of the spectrum, firms which are actively pursuing a growth strategy based on merger.

This report is a guide for law firm leaders on merger strategy and realisation. It provides in-depth advice on the merger process, starting with an outline of why a merger might be considered an appropriate strategic option and identifying what the profile of an ideal merger candidate firm might look like, through to initiating discussions, identifying issues in the negotiation process, the building of the merger business case, and creating opportunities to realise merger dividends with a particular emphasis on the client opportunity.


Chapter 1: Forces driving change in the sector

Chapter 2: New entrants and the impact of private equity in the legal sector

Chapter 3: Why law firms might consider a merger as a strategic option

Chapter 4: The central role of vision and leadership in the merger process

Chapter 5: How to decide on the profile of the ideal candidate firm

Chapter 6: Researching the market

Chapter 7: Frameworks for assessing ‘fit’

Chapter 8: Creating the strategic narrative and making the initial approach

Chapter 9: Identifying the issues

Chapter 10: Accounting and financial issues in law firm mergers

Chapter 11: Building the joint business case

Chapter 12: Implementation planning and hitting the ground running

Chapter 13: Culture and values integration

Chapter 14: Managing change

Chapter 15: Realising the merger dividend

Chapter 16: A determined focus on clients

Chapter 17: Key client management

Chapter 18: Merger as a catalyst for a new approach

Chapter 19: Carpe diem – The golden first six months



Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Andrew Hedley
Andrew Hedley works with the leaders of law firms on issues of vision, strategy, and change. He established Hedley Consulting in 2005 after almost a decade as the business development director of two UK top 20 international law firms. His practice is recognised as a leading boutique strategy consultancy within the legal sector.  Andrew is a recognised expert in the field of law firm mergers. Whilst working within private practice he was a member of a small strategy group tasked with pursuing M&A opportunities which led to the execution of a number of significant mergers as well as numerous early-stage negotiationsand evaluations. He has carried this expertise through to his consultancy practice and now advisesfirms at all stages of the merger process – from creating initial strategy, to candidate firm identification and evaluation, through the full negotiation and business case development process and, finally, postcompletion implementation strategy and delivery. Andrew’s wider practice is focused on the legal sector and issues of vision, strategy, and change in what is an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable market. He is engaged by firms on both a project and retained basis to assist in developing strategy which responds to these challenges and creates sustainable competitive advantage. In addition to his strategic project advice, Andrew is also much sought after as a strategy group guide for away-days, a partner retreat speaker, workshop facilitator, and moderator.He has written numerous articles and masterclass features on the subject, as well as contributing chapters on the topic to published works, including The Law Society’s Law Management Section Merger Toolkit (2012). He is on the editorial advisory board for Managing Partner magazine and writes a monthly column on the topic of mergers which has been widely acclaimed. He is also the author of Ark Group’s Developing Strategic Client Relationships (2008) and Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market (2011). Andrew is also on the advisory panel of NetworkMP, a leading peer network for managing partners of professional services firms. He sits on the judging panel of the MPF European Practice Management Awards and The Lawyer Management Awards. He is also the course director of the Cambridge Marketing College CIM Professional Diploma in Professional Services Marketing. Andrew has been admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, the Strategic Planning Society, the Chartered Management Institute, Cambridge Marketing College, and the Royal Society of Art. He is a member of the Triple Nine Society and the Cum Laude Society of the USA. Andrew can be contacted via email at Hedley Consulting. For more information please visit their website.