pg 175 Business #2 800words info

pg 175 Business #2 800words info - In the 1990's the...

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In the 1990’s, the accounting profession saw the Big Eight firms reduced to the Big Five. More than 100 accounting firms, including more than 10 of the largest U.S. firms, were acquired by consolidators like American Express and H&R Block. Law firms, like accounting firms, are looking at forming multidisciplinary practices to provide clients with a broad range of services under one roof, the “one-stop shop.” Yet, more than 55 percent of all mergers and acquisitions fail within the first three years, according to PRWeek ’s “The Burden of Merger Mania” (March 29, 1999). Considering the number of mergers taking place and the odds of failure it is critical that law firms make sure they are merging for the right reason. “Mergers can be successful – it’s just that few of them have been,” says David Maister in “True Professionalism.” “For a merger to confer a competitive advantage, it must create an additional benefit for clients, not just for the firms involved.” Geographic Coverage A law firm may look to merge with a firm in another city or state to expand its geographic coverage. That is exactly what Richmond, Va.-based McGuire Woods Battle & Boothe LLP did when it acquired Mack & McLean in Atlanta, Ga. “The acquisition of Mack & McLean is part of McGuire Woods’ strategic plan to expand in Atlanta,” said Gardner Courson, managing partner of McGuire Woods’ Atlanta office, in the Atlanta Business Chronicle . “Growing for the sake of growing is a mistake,” Courson said. “We’ll continue to expand in a way that makes sense.”
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