The Year of the Law Firm Merger

According to every indication, 2017 is poised to be a record year for law firm mergers. Altman Weil’s MergerLine reports that the end of the third quarter of this year, there have already been 76 deals. This pace signals that the 2015 record of 91 deals is likely to be broken and experts predict that there could be more than 100 combinations this year.

Mergers involve many complicated and moving pieces (compensation policies; client conflicts issues; leadership and administrative reorganization and consolidation; etc.) and can create anxiety and tension. Pro bono, however, can be an effective piece of a larger and long-term integration process. It is important that pro bono does not get lost in the shuffle and that firms think carefully about how to sync different pro bono cultures, policies, staffing and governance structures, priorities, budgets, projects, and more.

If your firm is involved in a merger, check out the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s checklist, which provides a summary of issues and ideas to get you started as your pro bono program moves forward. Visit our Resource Clearinghouse to download the checklist, which is free for Law Firm Project members and available to all others for purchase. We are also available for individual consultations to help you best navigate your specific merger-related transitions. In addition, tune in to our podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, to hear from Ballard Spahr’s*† Mary Gay Scanlon, about the firm’s upcoming merger with Lindquist & Vennum*.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member