A survey of more than 100 law firms in the UK has revealed that nearly half are considering a merger or acquisition in the next year. It's all part of the drive to develop depth of knowledge to serve clients' increasing demands. 

But law firms should be wary of thinking that a merger or acquisition is a quick and easy way of 'bolting on' additional expertise. Indeed, a previous survey by Smith & Williamson showed that 56% of merger discussions in recent years had ended in failure. A third had spent more than three months in negotiations before deciding to halt talks.

And the work is not done when the merger is agreed, as that's when the true challenge of integrating the two firms begin. The reality of people, IT, workspace and, of course, clients may not be as clear-cut as the merger blueprint. 

If your firm is one of the 43%, ARK's useful book The Law Firm Merger: A Leader's Guide to Strategy and Realisation may be just what you need to make your merger one of the successful ones.