Podcast S4 Ep2: Dr Rob Millard on success and failure in large law firm mergers

Ray D'Cruz and Dr Rob Millard discuss Rob's recently completed PhD on law firm mergers

July 10, 2024

Ray D'Cruz
Performance Leader

Our guest on the Performance Leaders podcast is Dr Robert Millard. Rob is a director of the Cambridge Strategy Group, an international advisory firm that helps professional firms build competitive advantage through strategy, mergers and sustainability.


With nearly three decades of experience in strategy and management for law and professional firms, Rob's clients range from elite global firms to leading regional and national firms. 


His recently completed PhD from the University of Glasgow focused on understanding the characteristics of successful large law firm mergers. Rob also holds an MBA in strategy from Henley. He chaired the IBA's law firm management committee and the ABA's International Law Practice Management Forum. He's also co authored ten books, so far, on law firm strategy and management.

Show notes:

(1:38) Why do a PhD on law firm mergers?


(4:39) The characteristics of successful large law firm mergers


(6:14) Types of mergers


(8:56) Most large law firm mergers are successful


(12:27) Analysing merger waves in professional services includingthe Shearman & Sterling, Allen & Overy merger


(13:59) AI as a merger driver


(15:34) Firms that become good at flexing their mergermuscle


(17:12) Behind closed doors conversation that don’t resultin mergers


(17:50) Merging a firm with a merit-based partner compensationsystem with a lockstep firm


(19:27) Moving to a more balanced notion of partner contribution


(20:06) Making collaboration work post-merger


(22:22) How mergers have changed and will keep evolving


(25:20) Why managing partners should always be thinkingabout mergers

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