Mergers & Acquisitions - Practice Group Acquisitions - Succession Planning
Partners in Strategic Growth

At AbstoneLalley, we counsel law firms of every size - from local and regional law firms to leading AmLaw 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 Experience

Our consultants 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, analyzing and prioritizing each entity involved, 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.

Our Approach

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

Conduct market analysis and build consensus among key partners
regarding criteria for candidate firms

Develop a list of target firms based on our client’s priorities
and facilitate meetings between firm leaders

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

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Rodney L. Abstone-Carabajal
Chief Strategy & Mergers and Acquisitions Officer

"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, 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 & Del Duca

"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

"We really appreciate the creativity, responsiveness, and expertise that AbstoneLalley and has demonstrated in consulting, marketing and business development, and in guiding Burke, Warren, Mackay and Serritella’s efforts not just to create a truly diverse law firm, but to also support the firm’s efforts to increase its marketing and business development based on the American Bar Association’s Model Diversity Survey (Resolution 113). Among other things, Resolution 113 encourages its corporate members to increase their legal spending with diverse attorneys. Your innovative approach has resulted in several new business relationships and has promoted the firm generally. As we move forward, we anticipate even greater success from such an innovative diversity-focused marketing program."

Stephen H. Pugh, Shareholder | John P. Stephens, Shareholder
Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.

"I worked with Rodney in his role as a Partner Recruiter at AbstoneLalley for many years in my role as Director of Partner Recruiting & Integration at Nixon Peabody. I can’t say enough wonderful comments about Rodney. He was on our short list of recruiters. Rodney and his team “get it”. They never wasted my time with candidates that didn’t fit the profile we initially discussed. They focus on quality over quantity. In addition to being excellent in his role as a Partner Recruiter, Rodney is a genuinely good-hearted person and cares about making the right match. It’s not just about a commission, which is why I would recommend Rodney and AbstoneLalley if you’re looking to grow your team."

Julie Zammuto | Fmr. Director of Partner Recruiting & Integration
Nixon Peabody

"Whenever you need to know what’s available to you as a possible next step in your career as a partner in a law firm, Rodney will provide excellent advice and give you an in depth personal survey of the marketplace. His services don’t stop there. Rodney will be there with you until he finds a perfect fit for you and your clients. You won’t be disappointed!"

Stephen H. Pugh | Shareholder, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.  
Fmr. President, Pugh, Jones & Johnson, P.C.

Representative M&A & 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 though 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 Mid-West, 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 target and suitor

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

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