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Mergers & Acquisitions

Strategic growth through Mergers and Acquisitions enables expansion with speed.

My involvement with law firms in flux underscores trust. 

I have assisted on Mergers and Acquisitions of law firms of every size, from regional and national partnerships to a global verein enabling strategic growth through expansion.

Law firm mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, expansions, and legal talent lateral transfers will remain ongoing especially due to departures of baby boomers and pandemic repercussions.

Astute adjustments to changing market conditions can bolster business through expansion into ancillary practices and jurisdictions, while lessening exposure to areas at are now or will soon experience retraction.

Law Firm Merger and Acquisition Experience 

My M&A involvement has ranged from market positioning strategy to public announcement, and rebranding campaigns to internal integration along with business development planning and leveraging cross-serving opportunities in combined firms.

Much of my M&A work is confidential. However, outlines of publicly announced mergers and expansions on which I have assisted are noted below with related outcomes.

2003 — Bereskin & Parr LLP in Toronto and Mississauga expands to Waterloo Region.

2005 — Bereskin & Parr LLP expands to Montréal.

2005 — McMillan Binch LLP in Toronto and Mendelsohn GP in Montréal merge under the name McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP.

2009 — McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP and Thackray Burgess in Calgary merge and rebrand to McMillan LLP.

2010 — Canada’s Ogilvy Renault LLP, South Africa’s Deneys Reitz Inc., and U.K.-based Norton Rose combine and rebrand June 1, 2011, followed by the 2012 addition of western Canada’s Macleod Dixon LLP. This resulted in Norton Rose being one of the top 10 global legal practices and the #1 law firm brand in Canada from 2013-2015.

2019-2021 — Pink Larkin in Atlantic Canada expands with lateral transfers of established litigators. Litigation now equals legacy offerings of employment and labour, and resulted in opening a third office.

Merger Rebrands and Market Positioning

My efforts on the 2009 Canadian rebrand of McMillan and the 2010-2012 Canada/US brand awareness campaign for Norton Rose were particularly extensive and high profile. Tactics for both included powerful messaging and striking visuals on prominent billboards at key airports, and print and digital vehicles.

Due to its global growth strategy, the Norton Rose campaign included animated displays and digital signage at major sports arenas, elevator and digital media wall profile in select office towers and concourses, and major ads in U.S. legal media to signal further expansion plans.

When Sensitivity and Discretion Matter Most

Each firm’s circumstances are unique. Every situation must be assessed carefully along with how a restructure, rebrand or integration may affect clientele, market strategy and positioning, as well as internal talent rosters and succession plans.

Growth strategies involving expansion as well as retraction are highly sensitive. If restructuring is under consideration, please be in touch. Together, and in confidence, we will determine if your needs and my expertise are an appropriate fit.

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Heather Suttie 

Legal Market Strategy and Management Consulting

+1 416.964.9607