Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

Category: Provide

Jan 26, 2016

Law Firm Merger – Initial High Level Summary Financials to Provide


I am the managing member of an 14 attorney firm in Miami. We initiated discussions with a large firm in Boston concerning the possibility of our firm merging with their firm. We met with one of their partners recently at their offices and he presented our interest to his other partners. He has advised us that there is an interest in having us meet the other equity partners and taking discussions to the next level. He would like some initial financial information from us. We feel that we must provide them with some financial information at this point but unsure as to what to provide them with at this stage. I would like to hear your thoughts.


Law firms exploring possible merger partners often move to quickly to financials and I try to hold on providing financial information until after three get acquainted meetings. I like to see the initial focus on the people, culture, and general fit. Poor fit causes more merger failures than practice economics. However, in your situation the door has been opened and the large firm is going to want to see some initial financial information to "qualify" you and determine whether further discussions is worth their time investment.

I suggest that both firms sign a non-disclosure statement and that you initially provide them with the following high-level summary information in a spreadsheet in columns for the last five years of history. The per lawyer/equity partner calculations can be calculated in the spreadsheet based upon the headcount data inserted in the spreadsheet.

I would not provide any more data at this stage pertaining to clients or detailed financials. The next step will be for the other firm to share information with your firm.
Good luck!

Click here for our blog on mergers

Click here for our article on mergers

Click here for articles on other topics

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

    Subscribe to our Blog