Law firm strategy and investment research conducted last year by Briefing Magazine and HSBC has proved very prescient. It reported that 70% of strategic leaders expected an increase in law firm merger and acquisition activity in 2023. In April this year, Fairfax Associates confirmed that there were at least as many large law firm mergers completed in the first quarter of 2023 than in all of 2022. 

Merger activity is global and the wave of large law coming together with large law is being followed by further smaller waves of large law making small and medium sized acquisitions. Look around and there is a lot of ‘two becoming one’ happening and, regardless of the power balance, the success of the new ‘unified’ firm is heavily dependent on a swift, efficient, compliant and confident union. 

Here at Pinnacle we have acquired a wealth of experience in supporting mergers and acquisitions around the world. It is one of our fastest-growing revenue streams and every project allows us to distil new learnings, refine best practice and dial up our value to the merging parties. 


Key learnings

If there were just three pieces of wisdom we would urge all firms to take note of, even if mergers and/or acquisition are on the far horizon, it would be these: 

Find your technical M&A partner early

Introduce a legal technology consulting team into the process as early as possible, even as early as the ‘courting’ phase. Getting the broadest, deepest possible understanding of how two parts of a yet to be joined puzzle can come together in a coherent, congruent whole is the single most critical success factor.

When merger parties are agreed and announced, Pinnacle can sign NDAs with both firms and see their respective systems when the firms themselves can’t look at the other side. This extended runway to prepare the technical ground can make a huge difference to the speed and efficacy of the merger.

Think about the bigger picture

Avoid pigeon-holing your technical consulting team as just ‘plumbers’ merging systems and data. Pinnacle will a look at a project through a strategic lens that considers processes, business change, stakeholders across the business and clients externally, long-term IT strategy, and always the opportunity to optimise and innovate.

Stay focused on the end result

Engage your technical consulting partner as a ‘critical friend’. There’s a very fine balance for a consultant between being client-centric, being led by them and executing as they want; and staying focused on the success of the mission they’ve been selected for.  


Coming soon

Given that M&A work is one of Pinnacle’s real sweetspots, we like to keep across the market from an observations and trends perspective.  Based on a number of recent interviews with law firm leadership, we’ve put together a report that serves as a ‘market scan’, sharing some of the latest thinking and analysis of the M&A landscape.

Email us at to be the first to receive a copy.