Marketing Partner Forum Preview: The Critical Role of the Marketing Team in Law Firm Mergers

Topics: Business Development & Marketing Blog Posts, Law Firm M&A, Law Firms, Marketing Partner Forum

Law Firm Mergers

 

The 23rd annual Law Firm Marketing Partner Forum convenes next week in Orlando, Fla. As always, it should be a lively and informative event.

I am particularly looking forward to moderating a panel entitled, Marketing Through Mergers: Strategy, Integration & Business Development Opportunities Pre- and Post-Acquisition.

This is a very timely topic. Law firm merger activity in the US market reached an all-time high in 2015.

The challenges and opportunities of the changing marketplace are causing most firms to look for ways to grow market share, which will mean continued consideration of mergers and acquisitions as a way to achieve the desired growth.

We have a great panel for discussion of this topic, consisting of three leaders who bring remarkable depth and variety of experience to bear on this issue.

  • DLA Piper’s Chair Emeritus Lee Miller will discuss the experience of his firm as it merged its way from modest beginnings in England to become one of the largest firms in the world;
  • Squire Patton Boggs’ Chair Emeritus & Senior Counsel Jim Maiwurm will discuss the mergers the firm entered into over the years as it built on its foundation as one of the leading firms in Cleveland.
  • David Foltyn, Chairman & CEO of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, will bring the perspective of a successful, but much smaller, Midwestern firm which has just completed its first merger.

The panel will draw on the stories of the mergers undertaken by these three firms over the years. The panelists have agreed to share the specific facts of how each transaction transpired, including the unwelcome surprises, challenges and disappointments.


The challenges and opportunities of the changing marketplace are causing most firms to look for ways to grow market share, which will mean continued consideration of mergers and acquisitions as a way to achieve the desired growth.


Drawing on the firms’ stories, the discussion will explore related topics, such as:

  • Why the firms chose mergers over other tactics for growth;
  • How the firms selected their merger partners;
  • The impediments that arose in negotiating the merger and how they were overcome;
  • How the firms integrated the merged firm; and
  • How the merged firm’s eventual performance compared to what management expected of it.

The panel will include a particular focus on the important role of marketing considerations and the marketing team throughout the merger process, from concept to execution. For example,

  • The panelists will describe the vital role that marketing plays in the process of evaluating a proposed merger;
  • The panel will discuss the branding considerations that go into the decision to merge and the role of the marketing team in conceiving and implementing the brand of the merged firm; and
  • In discussing integration, the panelists will talk about how they have merged the pre-existing marketing teams into one.

I expect we will have robust interaction from the audience, and am excited to be part of this discussion.