According to data from Altman Weil’s MergerLine TM, the legal industry has averaged 80 law firm mergers per year since 2013. The ongoing volatile legal market means more law firm merger activity will continue to occur. The vast majority of acquisitions are of law firms with 20 lawyers or less. Based on the data from Altman Weil’s MergerLine TM, here are 5 law firm merger trends:
Why law firms have left consulting to accounting firms over the last few decades is a mystery. Accounting firms quickly moved up the value chain and are viewed by clients as strategic partners leaving law firms behind. But Law Firms really should get into the consulting business as evidenced by the fact this morning’s news from thelawyer.com that Eversheds Sunderland’s consulting business brought in over GBP 26 million ($33 million) in 2017.
Today's announcement that EY acquired Riverview Law has been bouncing around my head all day and I've finally figured out why. This acquisition along with 3 other 2018 New Law transactions have legitimized New Law.
Here's what's trending in the legal industry:
- Is 2018 the year of the mega law firm merger?
- Recently announced law firm mergers.
- GDPR advice and guidance from the European Union.
- Advice for interviewing in-house.
- A recent study says that law departments want to add more lawyers but will they get the budget to do so?
- And, much more.
Last week brought additional news of another law firm forming a strategic partnership with an alternative legal service provider. This time it was Hogan Lovells, announcing a strategic partnership with an alternative service provider for access to a cadre of flexible lawyers. This is the second strategic partnership that Hogan Lovells has entered into with an alternative legal service provider. DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, and White & Case have also entered into strategic partnerships with alternative legal service providers.
From more work for employment lawyers, tax lawyers, and M&A lawyers to prior "in-house experience" possibly required to a bankrupt company owing major law firms close to $3.5 million in legal fees to tips on starting a virtual law firm to law departments thinking outside counsel fees are too high and wanting law firms to embrace technology these are the major legal industry trends we've been reading about this week.
Back in January of 2017, we made 8 predictions about the legal industry for the upcoming year. You can read that blog post by clicking here. That was also our first ever blog post (sniffle, sniffle)! Is that the digital equivalent of a rookie card?
We gazed longingly into the Nimble Magic Eight Ball and tossed out these 8 predictions about the legal industry in 2017:
Altman Weil recently released a special report "10 Years of Law Firm Mergers". Click here for a copy of the report.
Tons of interesting insight provided by the report, such as:
- 78% of the acquisitions were of small firms of 2-20 lawyers. Smaller acquisitions can be done quickly and are a low risk way to buy market share.
- 49% of the acquisitions in the U.S. were in the South (Florida and Texas mostly) and the Middle Atlantic (New York and Pennsylvania led the way). Geography is an important dynamic.
- Since 2013, there have been more than 80 acquisitions per year. 85 acquisitions closed in 2016.