News In Focus
Society adds mergers to online learning
22 October 2012
The current spate of mergers involving Scottish legal practices is reflected in the latest online CPD offering from the Law Society of Scotland.
A new module entitled "The Merger Process" aims to help solicitors plan for the future. Through the course the Society is encouraging its members to plan ahead and consider what acquisitions and alliances might mean for their firms, how to respond if their firm is approached by another, and how to weigh up the opportunities and the risks.
The presentation has been developed in conjunction with chartered accountancy and business advisory practice Johnston Carmichael, who also offer a one-to-one confidential telephone consultation to those signing up for the module.
Austin Lafferty, President of the Society, said the Society had long predicted that there would be increasing numbers of mergers within the profession. "That is only going to increase as we see more consolidation in the legal sector, and we want our members to be as well informed as possible to be able to weigh up the opportunities that exist to develop their businesses", he commented.
"That involves planning ahead and being clear about what they want for their firm in the short and long term. Solicitors need to be asking themselves ‘what is our five-year business plan?’ and figure out what skills they need to achieve that plan.
“In addition, no firm, whether large or small, can afford not to be aware of the issues around mergers and think seriously about why they might want to merge, who would be the right merger partner, how they would fund it and what opportunities and risks there might be.”
Andrew Ewing, corporate finance partner at Johnston Carmichael, added: “Mergers can offer growth opportunities for some Scottish legal firms while, for others, they could be a necessity for their long term survival. In all cases they have the potential to be complex matters where expert advice is vital to ensure that informed decisions are taken on what’s right for their business."