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In today’s business environment, law firms are under constant pressure to increase profitability — which, for individual partners, typically translates to a mandate to increase profits per partner. Many firms, accordingly, are turning to mergers to bolster their revenues and profits. Indeed, in the tri-state office of Deloitte & Touche, where I work, we have received more requests for merger assistance relating to the legal profession in the first half of 1999 than in the previous three years combined. But effecting a merger, however prevalent this practice may be these days, should not be considered a panacea for all that ails a firm. Rather than a stopgap measure to boost profits, a merger should be part of a law firm’s well-thought-out, long-term plan for its evolution.

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