Legal market update: How US law firm merger activity impacts the Canadian legal market

October 10, 2018

The first three quarters of 2018 has seen a record-breaking pace of US law firm mergers, as reported by Global Legal Post last week. This continued law firm merger activity in the world’s largest legal market has seen over 79 mergers in 2018, so far.

Some quick insights applicable to the Canadian legal market:


  1. Larger US firms continue to make international acquisitions (our experience reinforces the view that the US continues to be interested in potential Canadian mergers and acquisitions).


  1. Perhaps more interestingly, though, is the increased activity in the Am Law 200. (Am Law 200 firms are more closely comparable to leading Canadian firms). These firms appear to be prioritizing the acquisition of smaller firms (2-20 lawyers), particularly in specialized areas of practice. This is consistent with the Canadian market experience.


The US legal market often serves as a good indicator of how our local market will continue to mature, with top firms using this data to stay one step ahead of the competition on matters of law firm strategy and growth.


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Warren Smith, Managing Partner

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