The proportion of small firms expecting to merge has doubled in six months, according to new figures from the Law Consultancy Network.
The seventh set of six-monthly statistics compiled by consultant Andrew Otterburn showed 38% of firms with fewer than 10 partners thought there was a good or almost definite chance of a merger, compared with 17% six months ago.
By comparison, 44% of firms with 10 or more partners thought there was a good or almost definite chance of a merger, down from 54%.
Overall, 66% of the 65 firms questioned indicated that the possibility of a merger was something their firm had considered in the six months between January and June, down from 76% six months ago, and 80% and 86% in the previous two periods.
Eighteen percent of the participating firms had completed a merger in the past six months. Again, the results depended on the size of firm – 30% with more than 10 partners had completed a merger in the past year compared with 11% with fewer than 10 partners.
Otterburn said there is a ‘growing realisation’ that not that many matches are available and that a good merger takes time to achieve.