A company merger is one of the biggest milestones that a company can go through and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only will affect the company’s image and bottom line, but it will transform the company culture as well.
Now, mergers can be a great success, as we saw with the marriage of Disney and Pixar, but they can also go terribly awry like in the case of Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz.
The key to a successful merger where both parties are happy is to hire an experienced and skilled mergers and acquisitions lawyer from the beginning. At the end of the day, you want to have a thriving business that will continue to hit its strategic and commercial goals after the merger.
If this is your company’s first time going through a merger then you should probably hire a specialist that has years of experience in the business. To help you along, we’ve put together a guide on how to hire a mergers and acquisitions lawyer so you can make an informed choice.
Ask if they can perform a legal evaluation of your company beforehand.
It’s important to perform a complete legal evaluation of your company before you expose it to the scrutiny of others who may not have its best interests at heart. During the evaluation your lawyer will scrutinize all aspects of your company to see if there are any loopholes that other might exploit. Again, it’s important to do this before the merger so ask your attorney if they’ll be up for it.
Find out the type of companies they’ve worked with in the past.
Asking your mergers and acquisitions lawyer about the types of companies he’s worked with is a great way to gauge his level of experience. It’s important that you choose an experienced lawyer so they can offer relevant advice based on prior cases.
Beware of inexperienced lawyers because they won’t be able to offer you the same level of strategic guidance that an experienced lawyer can. A seasoned attorney will have probably dealt with a merger involving a company in your industry before so they can use their proficiency to offer tailored assistance.
Keep in mind that the rules and regulations surrounding company mergers and acquisitions can be a byzantine maze that involves a lot of complicated legal jargon, and strict regulators. So you want someone who’s knowledgeable to help prevent you from getting on the wrong side of the law.
Find out how much they charge.
We all know that lawyers don’t come cheap. That’s why it’s important to find out how much your lawyer chargers before you hire them so you don’t come across any surprises later. While you don’t want to spare any expense with this procedure, it’s still a good idea to ask your lawyer for a bill estimate based on his experience on the matter.
Lawyers will either charge by the hour or a flat fee that includes all the expenses involved in the case. A lawyer that doesn’t want to provide you with an approximation of the bill beforehand is probably unreliable and should not be trusted to deliver.
Find out who will be in charge of your case.
Depending on the size of the law firm you hire, there may be several attorneys assigned to handle the case. It’s important to ensure that the proposed partners will actually be hands-on. It’s no good to hire a big name law firm if they’re going to delegate all the work to junior staff members. So be sure to get a commitment from them that they’ll put one of the principal partners in charge of your case.
Like we said before, a merger’s a big step in any business so it should be handled with care and tact by a seasoned attorney.
Will they be able to handle other issues in-house?
It might be to your benefit to find a law firm that’s willing and able to handle other aspects of the merger in-house. This means taking care of auditing and tax matters that will come up during the merger over and above dealing with the actual acquisition legalities.
The great thing about hiring a versatile lawyer is that it eliminates the need to look for other expertise, thus reducing your expenses and ensuring a more comprehensive service.
Hiring a mergers and acquisitions lawyer is essential to ensuring a smooth and successful merger that will continue to yield positive results in the future. Don’t leave things to chance, hire a merger and acquisitions lawyer to help you through this very important part of your business journey. You won’t regret it.