Why law firm merger mania will end in tears

Why law firm merger mania will end in tears

 By Nick Hood

Does anyone out there know a traditional mid-size UK law firm that isn’t merging with someone? Blink right now and half your contact database is out-of-date, or is riddled with the wrong email or website addresses.

The latest news that Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham are in talks with each other simply creates another challenge for those poor souls who have to come up with the least ego-challenging and goodwill-destructive name for the newly combined firm.

In just the past few weeks alone, we have learnt of tie ups within the UK between Davenport Lyons/Howard Kennedy FSI, Lawrence Graham/Wragge & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna/Dundas & Wilson, Bond Pearce/Dickinson Dees, etc, etc; the list is seemingly endless. Cross border mergers are equally prevalent, as witnessed by the integration of Dentons SNR (itself a multiple merger hybrid), Salans and Fraser Milner Casgrain.

A recent survey of mid-market law firms in Manchester by the Law Consultancy Network confirmed that 75% had either made or received an approach in the second half of 2013. Presumably the other 25% must be feeling particularly unloved at the moment.

And does anyone except the merger players themselves think any of this is

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About the author:

Nick Hood is a Director of the legal costs firm, Kain Knight.  He is a Chartered Accountant and also an insolvency practitioner with the Begbies Traynor Group, as well as a business risk analyst for corporate health monitoring experts, Company Watch.

Email: nick.hood@kain-knight.co.uk 
Tel:  +44 (0)7967 658 296