In light of the recent spate of law firm mergers, one can’t help wondering: How do these unions generally turn out? Are they storybook romances, in which the two law firms live happily ever after? Or do they turn into dysfunctional relationships, which the partners regret getting into?
In its weddings pages, the New York Times sometimes checks back in on a couple whose nuptials were announced in the Times years ago. Sometimes these couples are still happily married, with a gaggle of kids; sometimes they have gone their separate ways.
Imitating this tradition, the National Law Journal checks back in on Edwards & Angell and Palmer & Dodge, on the first anniversary of their November 1, 2005, merger. This particular merger was the law firm equivalent of a “shotgun wedding”: it took place quickly, with relatively little premerger planning.
The verdict? After some initial growing pains and culture clashes, things are fine. The larger combined firm is scooping up some excellent business. Here’s the money quote:
“Lawyers speculate whether size matters,” said co-managing partner Terrence Finn. “We’ve come to the conclusion that it does.”
Britney Spears, on the other hand, respectfully dissents.
A ‘Leap of Faith’ Merger, One Year Later [National Law Journal]
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