Welcome to our M&A Broker's FAQs section for the Legal Sector

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers:

What does an M&A broker do in the legal sector? 
An M&A broker in the legal sector specialises in facilitating mergers and acquisitions within the legal industry. They assist law firms and legal businesses in buying, selling, merging, or acquiring other firms.
They play a crucial role in negotiations, deal structuring, due diligence, and ensuring a smooth transaction process.
Why should I hire an M&A broker instead of handling the deal myself?

Hiring an M&A broker brings expertise, experience, and an extensive network of potential buyers or sellers. They can handle the complexities of the transaction, maintain confidentiality, and maximise the value of the deal while you focus on running your legal practice.

Our job is always to make sure we provide the right market intelligence to identify credible buyers and avoid engagement with opportunistic tyre kickers.

Of course you can do this yourself, but as a lawyer, you will understand this point: think of anything you have ever done in life as the first time against having done it several, if not a hundred times!

Selling a law firm is complicated, as it’s not like selling a house.

How does the M&A process work in the legal sector?

The M&A process typically involves the following stages:

1.  Preparing the Firm for Sale or Advice on Buying: Gathering all necessary financial and legal documents and assessing the      firm's value.

2.  Identifying Opportunities: Finding potential buyers or sellers through networks and industry connections.

3.  Negotiations: Engaging in discussions to reach mutually agreeable terms for the deal.

4.  Due Diligence: Conducting a thorough examination of the other party's financials, contracts, and potential risks. e. Closing       the Deal: Finalising the transaction, preparing legal agreements, and completing the transfer of ownership.

How can an M&A broker help me find the right match for my law firm?

An M&A broker will carefully analyse your firm's needs, goals, and preferences.

They will use their industry knowledge and network to identify potential buyers or sellers that align with your requirements.

This personalised approach increases the chances of finding the right match for your law firm.

Is confidentiality guaranteed during the M&A process?

Yes, confidentiality is paramount in any M&A deal.

Lawyers operate in a heavily regulated environment, which puts even more emphasis on confidentiality. The SRA has produced guidance on what information can be disclosed during the sale process and how a breach can lead to disciplinary action.

Reputable M&A brokers have strict confidentiality protocols in place to protect the sensitive information of all parties involved.

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are commonly used to ensure confidentiality throughout the process.

Furthermore, we normally insist on secure deal rooms being set up for any data room.

How long does the M&A process usually take?

The timeline for an M&A deal can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction, the size of the firms involved, and market conditions.

On average, the process can take several months from initial engagement to closing the deal.

Our objective is not to get a deal in the quickest amount of time but to shape a deal around what you want in terms of key outcomes.

What fees are involved when hiring an M&A broker?

M&A brokers typically charge a success fee, which is a percentage of the deal's total value. The exact percentage can vary depending on the specifics of the deal.

It's essential to discuss the fee structure with the broker before engaging their services.

We normally agree on a modest engagement fee and a success fee from the outset and will make sure our fees are not an impediment to a sale.

Can an M&A broker help with post-merger integration?

Yes, some M&A brokers offer post-merger integration services to help with the smooth transition of operations, teams, and systems after the deal is closed. This support can be invaluable in maximising the benefits of the merger or acquisition.

What sets a specialised legal M&A broker apart from a general M&A firm?

A specialised legal M&A broker has in-depth knowledge of the legal industry, its unique challenges, and the regulatory environment.

They understand the intricacies of law firm valuations, client retention concerns, and other industry-specific considerations, making them better equipped to handle legal sector transactions.

From our experience, culture is as important as the numbers, and given our background in this sector, we understand how firms have to be culturally aligned for any deal to work.

We work in a collaborative way, looking at a range of options, e.g. on the sale side, not only an outright sale but a potential merger or management buyout.

How to Value a Law Firm?

We have prepared a detailed Valuation Guide that can be found in our Know How Section.

How do I get started with an M&A broker for my law firm?

To get started, reach out to a reputable M&A broker who specialises in the legal sector.

Schedule an initial consultation to discuss your firm's goals and explore how they can assist you throughout the M&A process.

We, of course, do not charge for the initial consultation.

Remember, every M&A transaction is unique, so don't hesitate to ask us any additional questions that pertain to your specific situation.