Managing Partners Forum

The MPF presents a rare opportunity to exchange ideas and learn how other firm leaders are handling difficult and challenging situations.

T. Douglas Wilson, Jr., Esq.
McGuire Wood & Bissette, PA - Asheville, NC


Contact Us

White Papers

  • Risky Business: Rethinking Lateral Hiring
    by Decipher and ALM Intelligence

    Many smaller and mid-size law firms say that "strategic growth" is among their top short-term and longer-term priorities. Often their leaders talk about going after "laterals with books of business." Yet, the failure rate for lateral hiring at the partner level is quite astonishing. Frequently, there is a lack of adequate due diligence in vetting potential laterals and, once the deal is made, successful integration falls short. In many cases, the "book of business" never materializes.

    The cost and distraction of mistakes in this area can be devastating, especially for smaller firms. Read this White Paper to learn the keys to successful lateral hiring.

  • 2019 Report on the State of the Legal Market
    A View from Mid-size Firms

    by Thomson Reuters

    MidLaw enjoyed solid growth in 2018, and client-driven trends may hold even more opportunities for well-run mid-size US law firms.

  • Altman Weil’s MergerLine 2017
    by Altman Weil, Inc.

    For many years, our colleagues at Altman Weil have been tracking merger and acquisition activity among US law firms. In 2017, they track 102 such combinations. The average size of the acquired firm is 27 lawyers with the Southern US identified as the most active region. Here are a few other highlights in this year’s MergerLine report.

    • Law Firm Merger/Acquisition Activity at All-Time High
      Altman Weil has been tracking mergers and acquisitions since 2007. Since a post-recession low of 39 in 2010, law firm acquisitions have steadily climbed to 91 in 2015, 85 in 2016 and 102 in 2017.
    • BigLaw Continues to Get Bigger
      The average size of the “acquiring” law firm was 982 lawyers. Dentons now has a staggering 7,800 lawyers in its ranks. Norton Rose had two major acquisitions in 2017 and has grown to 3,800 lawyers.
    • No Let Up in Sight
      Most managing partners, in-house counsel and consultants to the legal profession project that consolidation and convergence will continue both globally and wiring the US.
    • Opportunity Abounds for Mid-Size Firms
      We believe that well-run smaller and mid-size law firms – that is to say firms with a plan, leadership, accountability and firm-first culture – sit in a great place to take advantage of long-term trends impacting the profession. Bigger is not always better!

  • Ten Years of Law Firm Mergers and Acquisitions – 2006-2017
    by Thomas S. Clay, Altman Weil

    Consolation is a clear and ongoing trend in the US legal market, and Altman Weil has been tracking law firm merger activity since 2006. After a post-recession dip in the number of law firm combinations, 2016 was the fourth consecutive year with more than 80 mergers and acquisitions. Here are some of the more interesting highlights in this report:

    • The largest merger on record occurred in 2015 as Dentons (2,500 lawyers) combined forces with China’s Dacheng (3,600 lawyers).
    • Seventy-five percent (75%) of law firm combinations involve large firms acquiring much smaller firms, often in the 2-20 lawyer range.
    • Succession is among the primary reasons smaller firms seek to become acquired by larger firms.
    • The most combinations have occurred in the Southeastern US, with 195 mergers and acquisitions tracked in the last ten years.
    • States with the most activity are California (78), New York (57), Florida (51) and Texas (49).
    In addition to the report itself, there are four good articles, including one entitled “Is this Merger a Good Idea?”

  • The Current Economic Environment - What Firm Leaders Are Saying
    by John S. Smock, John W. Sterling and Peter A. Giuliani

    Forum Faculty member John Smock and his partners recently wrote this assessment of how law firms are performing in the midst of the current economic downturn. And it's not as bad as you might think for the well-managed law firm.