Published on JD Supra on September 14, 2017
It’s been months since your company was all over the news with a splashy acquisition and the fanfare has died down a bit. There are rumors, quietly at first, but then persistently louder, that things aren’t going so well with the transition: the new employees are unhappy, the promised revenue isn’t flowing, and the sought-after efficiencies appear elusive. Then the dreaded phone call comes from your manager: we need you to help fix what’s happening here. In other words, we need you to follow the parade with a shovel.
Even if you weren’t tapped to assist with the acquisition of the target entity (“Target”) and weren’t included in the planning and execution of integration, it’s never too late to dive in and make a difference when things don’t seem to be working. Here are three steps to take to try to right the ship:
Even in the scenario where everything seems to have gone wrong, there are still steps that can be taken to set the delivery of legal services to the Target entity on a firmer path. High level strategic debriefings and Monday morning quarterbacking will go on for months trying to determine if the Target should have been acquired in the first place. But you can make a difference now in the delivery of legal services by keeping an open mind to try to understand what happened in the first place, and to do that from as many perspectives as possible while remaining uncompromisingly critical, becoming a student of your Target’s culture and values, and making tactical decisions to get the legal function meeting deadlines and keeping up with the flow of documents. Using trusted outside counsel at any stage of the acquisition to plan for, implement and triage integration can provide an outside perspective and legitimacy and ultimately turn a perceived failure into a win.