The legal Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) market is extremely buoyant and CPSS advises and assists a number of law firms and legal related businesses to either merge or acquire other firms/businesses.
Unlike a majority of the of the legal headhunting firms, who focus mainly on the London market in the UK, CPSS has a diverse client base, which includes London and regional firms. Over the years, we have worked with the boards of major regional law firms – we know many well. Most of these firms either have London offices or have an interest in opening a London office. The ones that do, want to build them – some having more success than others.
The need for businesses to grow to move forward is putting sizeable regional law firms under pressure to look at ways to do this. In many cases, M&A is on these firm’s agenda and it is evident due to the sizeable tie ups in the market. We have all read about the failed mergers and here at CPSS, we are aware of many other talks that are taking or have taken place, with mixed success.
So, with all this UK activity in the law firm market, we see regional firms wishing to tie up with London firms, boutique firms tying up with major law firms, London to London firm tie ups. Our international M&A is mainly sizeable law firms identifying jurisdictions of interest that are known as ‘controlled markets’. We advise on deals of this nature in the Middle East and the Far East.
As much as CPSS focuses on high quality law firm clients, family and multi-family offices, trust companies, private banks and corporate in-house legal departments, we have an interest in the volume legal market and work with a small group of clients that have a strategic interest in volume, commoditised legal services. With the ABS structures now in the market and the interest in businesses investing into legal services, we are very well placed to work with PE houses and businesses who wish to invest into this area. For example, we have advised a major funeral directors setting up a legal services offering, all relating to their target market and access to this market.
With the current housing market being strong, volume conveyancing businesses are doing well, and we work with a number of lawyers who have close links with these businesses.
We work on a retained basis with our clients to help identify suitable M&A targets. Due to the fact that we have walked through the doors and met the boards/key partners of many major law firms in the market, we believe that we are well placed to help identify good client matches. We appreciate the driving factors behind a merger and know how to identify opportunities, and as important, we know many of the different personalities of the partners in the target firms. We can often play a key role in managing expectations on both sides and in some cases positioning discussions to include certain important areas, to allow talks to progress.