Lawyer: M&A Practice Is Booming & Likely to Continue

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Nov. 26 (Bloomberg Law) -- Bill Lawlor, an M&A partner at Dechert LLP, tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia that the years-long drought in mergers and acquisitions activity may finally be drawing to a close. His office is seeing a spike in M&A activity that, barring disaster, he expects to see continue through the medium and longer term.

Lawlor says the short-term wave of activity is being driven by the possible end of the Bush tax cuts. See more +

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg Law) -- Bill Lawlor, an M&A partner at Dechert LLP, tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia that the years-long drought in mergers and acquisitions activity may finally be drawing to a close. His office is seeing a spike in M&A activity that, barring disaster, he expects to see continue through the medium and longer term.

Lawlor says the short-term wave of activity is being driven by the possible end of the Bush tax cuts. Family-owned enterprises are particularly concerned about cashing out before the end of the year, when their tax rates would rise if the cuts are not extended, he says.

If Washington deals with the fiscal cliff, increased predictability in tax rates and regulation is likely to increase CEO confidence, which in turn will increase medium-term M&A activity, he says.

Longer term, he says a "powder keg" of M&A technicals -- such as more than $1 trillion in corporate cash sitting on the sidelines -- is expected to drive an increase in deals.

As for specific sectors and industries primed for increased deal flow, Lawlor says that the spike in activity is somewhat arbitrary and that "M&A catalysts are a real mosaic of chance encounters."

And despite all the talk of clients wanting to move away from hourly rates to alternative fee arrangements, many clients are simply using those requests as a "stalking horse" to reduce their legal costs, not to fundamentally change the way their lawyers are paid, he says. See less -

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