Strategy & Finance Reviews
We help guide you and your firm through the difficult decisions that are needed to grow your law firm – whether to merge or take on lateral hires, develop new markets, grow organically or any combination of those options.
Mergers can be tricky to navigate but an experienced hand can remove stress and help steer a safe path to a successful conclusion.
Our consultants have helped negotiate mergers as both the acquirer and the acquired firm, have undertaken financial due diligence and managed the merger process from the start -by finding a suitable merger partner – to finish, by completing the cultural, systems and financial integration required.
Mergers change the financial dynamics of the businesses involved and it is critical that firms know how much financial leeway they have to help them cope with any potential loss of income or cash flow.
We can produce those projections and help you manage your income and cash flows, so you are aware of the risks and can move to mitigate them.
Developing new markets
Staring a new service line or opening cold in a new location is potentially very challenging and firms need to know what financial risk they can bear in taking on those challenges.
How much could it cost and how much income will it generate and how quickly? What if it develops more slowly than we estimated or cost more than we thought? Using financial modelling and scenario planning, we can show you the limits of the risks you can take and help you make decisions based on data and insight, not just gut feel.
Incurring risk is part of doing business but firms must know how much they are taking on and how much they can stand before putting their whole business at risk.
Interim and Part-time Finance Director
When you want the financial acumen of an FD but can’t afford or don’t want a full-time person in the role, an interim or part-time FD can be a great addition to the team.
Not all firms need FD-level support all the time. But there may be occasions when they need extra support, or they need to have someone overseeing the finance function on a regular basis, or they wish to mentor and upskill their Finance team.
Specific events, such as mergers, might add extra pressure and higher-level skills may be required. Having an experienced FD who can produce the information needed quickly and in the appropriate format, saves everyone time and trouble.
If a senior finance person leaves before their replacement is found, then appointing an interim FD provides for continuity and gives the firm time to decide what their longer-term finance team structure should be.
Mergers and acquisitions place huge demands on firms, as they undertake the appropriate due diligence and provide the data to exchange with potential merger partners. FD involvement is intrinsic to the success of the process.
Merging with other firms is often the quickest way to build a firm that will be able to compete effectively. Our consultants can help identify the right firm to talk to and provide the illustrative figures for the potentially merged firm.
During the negotiations, we can model the suggested options: such as which staff, departments, partners etc. are included in the merged firm; what finance options are being considered; what opportunities the merged firm has to harvest unbilled WIP or collect outstanding debts.
Having this resource ensures that partners and accounting staff can stay focused on their day job.
Reports and reporting
Reported information directs behaviours, i.e. “what gets reported gets done”. An FD has the knowledge and skills to produce the right information, with the clarity and concision that ensures it is understood.
FD-level input will right-size reporting packs, getting rid of aged or irrelevant content, to allow for the proper surfacing of key data. We can also ensure you are measuring and managing effectively according to your financial focus eg cash collection.
An area that often gets overlooked when new systems, especially PMS, are introduced is the reporting out of those systems. This is an opportunity to improve, refresh, refine and make more relevant, the reports that the firm produces. Although often touted as “out of the box” most reports will need some work to improve the delivering of management information to the partnership.
Partner and/or staff reward schemes
Many firms report that partners and/or staff struggle to change their behaviours to support the needs of the business.
Our consultants have developed several reward schemes to benefit firms by improving partners’ and staff performance and would be pleased to help you develop your own. Developing an acceptable scheme is not easy but because of our experience, we know how to minimise the risks and maximise the potential benefits.