Rob was pleasantly surprised – but also bemused. The reaction to the possibility of a merger with LB Law had been very low key and marginally positive. He looked around the table - Ev, Mark, Trudie and Hamish his fellow partners were bright, sensible and, yes, occasionally, very annoying people – but did they really appreciate what was at stake here? He had braced himself for the Spanish Inquisition and what he had got was, “Are they in central Leighton Buzzard?”, “The two we dealt with on the Mermaid deal seemed ok” and “I suppose it might be interesting to meet them”.
“You cannot be serious!” – it wasn’t the best McEnroe impersonation but the message was clear enough. Manisha was looking at her fellow LB Law members and not at Natasha who had just finished explaining her discussion last week with Rob at the British Museum.
“Look, I’m not saying I’m completely sold on the idea myself and I’ll want a whole lot more detail, but I do think we should seriously consider this as a possibility. If nothing else it will make us stop and think what we do want for the future.” Natasha looked round the table for support and got a gentle nod from Arun their business manager. That meant a lot – she would need him on board if they were going to make the right decision. And she also knew that there was still a (largely unspoken) feeling among some in the firm that as a “non-lawyer” he wasn’t quite an equal. At this moment Michael and Darren, the other members, were staring studiously at a pot plant and the ceiling respectively. Natasha sighed – this was not going to be easy, but for reasons she couldn’t understand she felt quite optimistic.
“OK everyone it’s nearly seven” said Rob trying to sound enthusiastic “Anyone up for a quick glass of something at the Princess Louise and we can continue the discussion there?” Even as he said it, he regretted it. “I know …I musn’t encourage cliques and assume that everything needs to done over alchohol” he remembered saying to the business coach he had worked with when he first became managing partner three years ago.
Rob and Natasha would be speaking again tomorrow.
If you were at either FSS or LB Law do you think Rob and Natasha are approaching this the right way?
What's your reaction to the way Rob and Natasha have been handling things? If you've been in a firm when merger rumours and/or negotiations have been going on, what was that like for you?
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