Law firms merge for any number of reasons. These include responding to client or competitive pressure, the desire to expand into new geographies or practice areas, or the pursuit of economic leverage. Mergers offer numerous benefits but also pose significant challenges. In addition to traversing a complex conflicts review process, firms must also integrate their operations to enable effective administration of and collaboration across the joint entity.
The conflicts challenge facing merging firms is burdensome, but manageable. In the context of a merger, firms that identify conflicts may need to demonstrate strong ethical wall protections in order to secure waivers necessary to retain adverse clients.
More challenging is the need to combine infrastructure across the newly-joined organization, standardize business processes, and educate and train end users. All while minimizing lawyer disruptions.
- Example – Two merging firms have parallel applications providing accounting, document management, electronic mail, records management and various other functions. In addition to consolidating systems and processes, the firm must also reconcile different matter code numbering conventions.
Adding pressure to an already complicated situation, firm administrative and IT organizations typically experience the unwelcome scenario of having to resolve these complex challenges while facing high expectations, demanding end users and limited time and resources. Importantly, unlike the conflicts process, merger integration is not something firms do routinely. Too frequently, it can take years to fully integrate merged organizations.
The Intapp Solution – Intapp Integrate
Intapp offers a straightforward solution for connecting legal IT infrastructure and firm business processes. Intapp has directly supported the operational integration of over 50 law firms, including international projects combining the largest organizations in the world.
Employed by numerous firms executing high-profile, large scale mergers, Intapp Integrate allows organizations to address numerous technical challenges facing combining firms. It allows firms to synchronize data across applications such as accounting systems immediately and helps firms streamline application migrations and reconcile business processes across the organization.
Working to support customer success, Intapp also provides significant consulting experience, leveraging a history of addressing a broad variety of merger projects, including large-scale amalgamation of equals and repeated assimilation of smaller regional organizations into a larger whole.