Mergers & Acquisitions

At Abstone Lalley DeNio, Inc., we counsel law firms of every size - from local and regional law firms to leading Am Law and Global 100 firms. In every combination, our goal is to optimize the value proposition of the combined firm as driven by its people, practices, culture, brand equity, and desired position in the marketplace.

Our M&A Experience

Law firms that wish to promote dynamic growth through a merger or by acquiring a partner or practice group can trust that ALD, Inc. has an exceptionally high level of experience and market understanding in this area. Our consultants and strategists have served as trusted advisors to firm leadership on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including developing a merger strategy, building internal consensus for the strategy and facilitating discussions between them. We have served as advisors to the deal, as well as independent advisors to individual firms involved in the deal.

Mergers & Acquisitions

The legal industry continues to experience a record-setting pace of law firm mergers and acquisitions. But, it’s definitely a case of caveat emptor. Correctly handled, mergers can lead to benefits for both parties and to a stronger, more profitable resulting single entity.

Practice Group Acquisitions

ALD, Inc. advocates for our clients and are often able to bring to the table candidates who otherwise are not on the market. Our clients and candidates find that we take the time to thoroughly understand their strengths and competitive advantages.

Succession Planning

Law firms rely heavily on their partners for leadership, client relationships, and for the capital that funds the business. Losing a partner can have a dramatic impact. Yet, many firms have done little succession planning to manage risks and protect the firm’s value.


  • “I enthusiastically endorse Rodney Abstone’s firm, AbstoneLalley, Inc., for its particular expertise in law firm merger consulting. Rodney worked with my firm to create a merger with another law firm. When Rodney and I first met, my firm was not looking for a merger partner. However, after multiple discussions with Rodney and his colleagues, we decided to strongly consider the opportunity. Working with Rodney and his team was a great experience. He consulted with us about the other firm, worked with both firms in arranging critical meetings, and encouraged us to think about the big picture and see the potential success that could result from a merger. His advice and guidance throughout the entire process was critical to moving the discussions forward. Rodney is a no-nonsense person, but one who you enjoy being around. So even when there were hard decisions to make, Rodney was there with the right questions and answers. Rodney made it clear that our concerns were his concerns, and despite whether we would close the deal or not, he had our best interests at heart. With his guidance, my firm was able to successfully complete the merger deal. In working so closely with Rodney throughout this process, he not only served as an exceptional consultant for my firm, he also became a dear friend. I eagerly refer others to Rodney and his firm for his professional expertise.”

    Eileen M. Letts
    Equity Partner - Zuber Lawler LLP
  • “Our working group, which includes both transactional and litigation concentration, recently had the pleasure of working with Rodney when we elected to seek a new platform for our practice. Although we had been well-situated in a highly respected firm, we sought to transition into a firm with greater resources and a global footprint. Rodney’s extensive personal connections and highly regarded profile among the vanguard of highly respected firm managing partners and lateral coordinators was a key factor in our good fortune of receiving multiple offers from those ranks. Rodney’s well-deserved reputation among elite firms is balanced by his seasoned experience. His advice and guidance was strongly beneficial in the process of identifying the best fit for us and establishing mutually satisfactory arrangements which have already boosted both the range and depth of our practice. Rodney’s diplomatic, straightforward performance is impressively bolstered by his dedication and accessibility. Just as we had been assured would be the case by others who had previously worked with Rodney, we were made to feel that our project was Rodney’s top priority. We were nothing short of amazed at the rapid pace in which he proceeded to smoothly handle all aspects of his responsibilities. Summing up our opinion of Rodney in two words is easy: Utterly topnotch.”

    Litigation Practice Group Partners
    Nixon Peabody LLP

Our Approach To M&A

While each combination is unique, engagements typically include some or all of the following:

  • Work with firm leadership to create an expansion strategy that will accelerate achievement of the firm’s short- and long-term vision
  • Develop a list of target firms based on our client’s priorities and facilitate meetings between firm leaders
  • Conduct market analysis and build consensus among key partners regarding criteria for candidate firms
  • Prepare for meetings with candidate firms by supplying relevant data and helping identify and articulate the value proposition for the combined firm
  • Formally and informally facilitate merger discussions, manage the due diligence process, and analyze data relevant to the combination
  • Advise on the benefits of the combination through client interviews and leveraging cross-servicing and cross-selling opportunities in the combined firm

Schedule a Consultation

Rodney L. Abstone II, JD, MA
Chief Strategy & Mergers and Acquisitions Officer
This consulting service is provided by ALD, Inc. on a retained basis.

Representative M&A and Succession Planning Matters

  • Retained by a Global 100 law firm to represent them in a merger with or acquisition of another U.S.-based firm
  • Advised a global, UK-based law firm on expansion into the North America market through an acquisition of a North America firm. Provided U.S. legal market intelligence for multiple years
  • Advised an AmLaw 100 firm on expansion into the South America market
  • Represented a prominent Midwest, minority-owned law firm during a merger with a prominent West Coast minority-owned law firm, which created one of the country’s preeminent, minority-owned law firms. We served as advisors to the deal, as well as independent advisors to both firms
  • Serve as ongoing Advisor to a prominent, Chicago law firm on partner succession planning
  • Represented the President of one of the largest and most elite, minority-owned law firms in the United States during a firm dissolution and move to a new firm