I Do Not Trust In Equal Merger…

Rubric: Uncategorized

Material from the annual conference of the «Vedomosti» in Moscow on April 3-4, 2013. Legal Success and Margarita Gaskarova — about main topics and new trends of this conference, popular in the legal community. I spoke at the business lunch on the theme of mergers and acquisitions. «One plus one» is one, two or three?

Business lunch re mergers and acquisitions, as moderated by Andrew Yukov, managing partner of the «Yukov and Partners”. Irina Nikitina, an independent consultant, who has experienced, as a hired top manager, mergers of two law firms, was the first to take the floor. She started her speech with «I do not trust in mergers; equal marriages do not happen in this market”. Irina divided all firms into two categories: «celibates» — law firms that do not consider a merger as a way of development; and «loving mates». Then, she pointed out two of the most complex, in her opinion, moments of merger — psychological compatibility and internal communications: «If partners of law firms meet and «fell in love», it does not mean that the teams of their firms will feel the same to each other. If this love has happened spontaneously, and the teams were unprepared for that, their opposition would be very strong. The key issue of internal communication is that a company must be carefully prepared for the merger.» Irina Nikitina gave an advice to the «loving mates»: to foresee the merger with another firm in their firm’s strategy, and to regularly inform the employees about this fact.

According to I.Nikitina, while merging law firms, «one plus one» never equals to “two”, in terms of the number of employees. As for profits, if «one plus one» was not equal to “three”, the merger had been useless. The successful merger should make “one plus one” into “four”. A.Yukov noted that “one plus one” is less than “two” in terms of people, but in terms of profits, it is still more than “two”.

I.Nikitina underlined, that with the poorly prepared merger, the most valuable human resource might be lost. As a rule, partners are busy with discussing the distribution of profits, forgetting about employees, they suddenly remember that, only when the first ones start leaving. Another fundamental issue, which is typically not paid enough attention — distribution of work, while combining two similar practices.»

Full version of reportage is by the link —