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Merger announcement: Wheels in motion for the next big firm?

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NZ Lawyer | 10 Oct 2014, 11:20 a.m. Agree 0
Hamilton’s largest law firm is to merge with a top Rotorua firm and with plans for more mergers in the future, it could end up being a major player outside Auckland
  • Ashley Balls | 10 Oct 2014, 12:42 p.m. Agree 0
    This is good news and is a clear indication of the way of the future. NZ has too many small firms who are unable to offer economies of scale that can only come from leaner and larger entities. Aggregation of practices is inevitable and when properly handled will lead to more efficient delivery of services. That said, there is almost no point in merging if nothing changes and it is only two firms coming together to form a third. The way some lawyers work in treating all work as if it requires a bespoke solution makes no sense. We have to find greater productivity and that will require investment in IT and a commitment to finding new ways of working. If luminaries like Professor Richard Susskind are right (and he hasn't been wrong yet) the need for lawyers will decline and new legal careers will emerge. Some will be filled by non-lawyers. Interesting times. It is to be hoped that timidity and a rejection of change doesn't get in the way of fulfilling client need.
  • Ron Pol | 10 Oct 2014, 02:28 p.m. Agree 0
    Great to see. There are tremendous opportunities, with great clients, in several parts of the country outside the biggest centres. Not always served well, by local firms less aware of evolving needs of sophisticated, nor by AKL/WLG firms not always understanding the regional pressures.

    Done well, this also offers better opportunities for lawyers to be attracted to these areas, and for clients to stay local as they grow, and less to feel the need to move work to a big city firm; and at a certain level, both can feed into each other in a virtuous circle.

    Time will tell, not least because as it gets to the scale it needs is also when it hits the competitive firestorm, but this is a positive move, all credit for boldly stepping up.
  • Myla Ruttan | 15 Oct 2014, 08:54 a.m. Agree 0
    Incorporating big firm names via merge with small rural firms creates positive solution to offer better customer service to clients. It also attracts new lawyers/grads to move out of the big city and provides opportunity to build clientele in rural areas. It's a win-win situation. Indeed, "home is where you make opportunities work for you".
  • John Shingleton | 23 Jan 2015, 01:07 p.m. Agree 0
    Good strategic move. It will also enable potential clients in the so called smaller markets access to CBD quality legal resources. Definitively a model to watch and learn from.
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