Many mergers fail because there were red flag issues evident beforehand which firms either ignored or failed to resolve. However, even when this is not the case, some mergers still fail. This can be because management did not address the integration of the firms after the official merger. There are several things that management should do to ensure that a merger is successful.
a. Give priority to human due diligence: People issues are often at the root of failed mergers. Prevent a “we” and “they” attitude by…
b. Communication: More communication is needed after the merger than before. There are several ways to maintain communication, including: 1) having the Managing Partner/ CEO be visible and available, 2) publish frequent newsletters on what is going on, and what will happen going forward, 3) update a directory of all personnel, 4) draft a temporary Procedures Guide and distribute to everyone
c. Hold a partners’ retreat, a retreat for key administrative personnel, and all lawyers.
d. Make sure major clients and key clients see the benefits of the merger.
e. Establish criteria to measure teh success of the merger, and track them.
Successfully integrating firms after a merger requires considerable extra work and can take as long as two years. But the only alternative– a merger that fails– is not acceptable.