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Addleshaw Goddard’s nascent law firm consultancy has worked on its largest merger to date after steering the tie-up between offshore firms Mourant du Feu & Jeune and Ozannes.
The management consultancy, led by Addleshaws chairman Mark Jones, was launched in August last year (The Lawyer, 3 August 2009) and pitched itself at professional services firms, including law firmsconsidering mergers, equity restructurings or new strategic directions.
Unusually the firm was instructed by both sides, with Richard Linsell, partner and head of Addleshaws’ professional practices group, leading the advice.
“This was a case study on how to do [a merger],” said Linsell. “The firms had done a lot of due diligence, and things like the way the new firm was going to be run, its name etc, were straightforward. The commercial logic of doing it looked so powerful.”
The concept of acting for the prospective merged entity and advising both parties is one that Linsell first saw in 1998 when French group Mazars & Guerard merged with UK accounting practice Neville Russell to form what is now Mazars UK.
“It really has helped cut through obstacles far more effectively than having each party use outside lawyers who are pitted against each other,” he said. “It also benefits from the merger parties being closely engaged on their solutions while avoiding issues getting bogged down or the merger stagnating.”
Linsell was assisted by managing associate Aster Crawshaw.