What is ALFMA?
Law firm mergers affect every aspect of your business. The Association of Law Firm Merger Advisers (ALFMA) was formed by a team of proven market experts, to help you take the risk out of the process as far as possible. Our members are accountants, specialist brokers, partnership lawyers and strategic experts. We can account for over 150 successful mergers between us. By working together we help our clients to achieve more.
We use our extensive experience to help you identify your true rationale for a merger and your desired outcomes. Once understood, they inform the negotiating stance and set the strategy for delivering the best possible result
You may have an ideal candidate in mind or know of firms you wouldn’t want to approach. Taking that into account we can produce a long list of potential suitors. Due to our extensive networks we may even be aware of a contender or two
We are very well connected in the marketplace where your merger will take place. When the time is right, we can make discreet but credible approaches that simply would not be possible for a firm to attempt on its own
Every firm embarking on a merger can benefit from objective and honest advice. Our members are experts at helping you to identify, evaluate, negotiate and implement opportunities at every stage of the process
We help managers put day-to-day issues to one side and focus on the bigger picture. An off-site, externally facilitated strategy day can be used to clarify thinking and set stretching but realistic goals
Post Merger Integration
Issues of stakeholder management should not be overlooked. There is a great deal of change in the air during a merger. Planning how to manage it can define the success or otherwise of the whole venture
At the first meeting of ALFMA, the founder members were asked to think of words to describe how they see ALFMA adding value to their clients. We came up with proactive, pragmatic, national, trusted, reliable, networked, experience, knowledgeable, realistic, open, expert, honest, association, go-to, members, straightforward, discrete and objective. These inform our Core Values below.Andrew Roberts, Chairman
Providing a professional and consultative service, Ampersand Legal work with firms of all sizes, locations and specialisms. Highly experienced in researching the market to select the right merger partner, they then use their insight and familiarity with deal structures to facilitate the process to a successful conclusion. As well as helping firms, they are a trusted adviser to the banks and insurers who operate in the legal market. Click here to visit their website
Armstrong Watson are Chartered Accountants with a team of 12 people who focus exclusively on law firms. Providing bespoke advice to lawyers on succession plans, M&A, all elements of financial strategy and various compliance (e.g. tax, audit) has resulted in AW being the only accountancy practice in the UK to be endorsed by The Law Society. Bi-monthly they circulate a comprehensive publication of firms looking to acquire, to merge or to sell. Click here to visit their website
Bennett Briegal is a specialist law firm advising the professional community, including other law firms, professional referrers such as accountants, and investors. They offer critical advice on structuring a merger to give it the best chance of success. They have extensive experience of drafting the legal documents needed to make mergers happen, such as Heads of Terms, Due Diligence, Disclosure and New Members Agreements. Click here to visit their website
Nigel Haddon Consulting Ltd
It is not unusual for management teams to try and work through the merger process themselves. However, the extensive processes involved take up a huge amount of time and energy, before the real work begins – planning the integration and success of the new business! Nigel Haddon Consulting Ltd combines a passion for transformation with practical experience to benefit of law firms being acquired or looking to be acquired. Click here to visit their website
As Chartered Accountants, Hazlewoods provide a wide range of accountancy, tax, audit and business advice to individuals and businesses nationally and internationally. The Legal Team of 27 sector specialists work with law firms all day every day. The team looks after over 135 law firms on a retained basis and help firms to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the increase in practice mergers and acquisitions. Click here to visit their website
Hedley Consulting is recognised as a leading boutique strategy consultancy within the legal sector. With clients ranging from global firms to major regional players, it brings deep experience of advising on the merger or acquisition option and working with firms to identify, evaluate, negotiate and implement opportunities. Other services include strategy group direction, partner retreat speaking, workshop delivery and board facilitation. Click here to visit the website or here to access Andrew Hedley’s profile
Howard Hackney LLP
Howard Hackney LLP is a new generation advisory only practice of Chartered Accountants. The firm brings a wealth of experience both advising and being involved in actual mergers as a principal. They advise on structuring from a tax and commercial perspective and pride themselves on seeing the deal from the other side’s perspective. When it comes to understanding the market they have ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirt’. Click here to visit their website
Viv Williams Consulting Ltd
Viv Williams Consulting Ltd offers strategic support for law firms, providing clear business advice and fresh options to law firm owners facing tough strategic decisions. Whether that’s a guiding hand to help develop a firm’s strategy or just support with a particular aspect of it, they can put together a bespoke service to suit an individual business. Being a law firm owner can be a very lonely place and sometimes all that’s needed is to talk through thoughts and ideas with someone else. Click here to visit their website
Wilkinson Read recognises that successful partnerships need people who are not only excellent practitioners of the law. Management and bringing in business are also crucial skills. As experts in cash management for law firms, their clients benefit from financial management and business development, whether a law firm is looking for an exit strategy, planning sustainable growth, facing cash flow difficulties, or a squeeze on revenues from tougher markets. Click here to visit their website
Having faced a number of approaches from law firms and companies over the years to acquire Pryers, it was important for us to wait patiently for the right opportunity with the right company to forge ahead with. Pure Legal undoubtedly presents that opportunity and I am delighted to get this deal over the line and I look forward to working with Phil and his team.
Thanks to our Accountant, Andy Poole and his team from Armstrong Watson, for their diligent work. We were genuinely impressed with their advice and representation.
Ian PryerManaging Partner of Pryers LLP
When I decided to sell my practice I was lucky enough to have been introduced to Andrew Roberts of Ampersand Legal. Andrew conducted a rigorous research process but, more importantly I think, then managed the sale process adeptly to a conclusion where both I and the buyer were pleased with the result. He was always available with wise counsel and I am sure that I would not have got to the same position without his help. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to other managing partners.
Clive MatthewsFormer MD of FMW Law Ltd
2021 has seen the usual rash of consolidator deals, but strikingly it has also seen an increased number of what might be termed traditional mergers where 2 firms come together […]
A recent matter undertaken by ALFMA member Bennett Briegal LLP is a good example of growth by acquiring a team, rather than acquiring the entirety of a law firm. You […]
One matter which is often given limited attention in merger discussions and documents is the valuation of Work in Progress (by which I include all unbilled work variously classed in […]
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