Boutique firm Aitken Partners is preparing for a potential upswing in legal activity through an acquisition strategy that brings small firms and lateral movers on board to increase the Aitken's client base.
Aitken Partners managing partner Andrew Blogg told Lawyers Weekly today that his firm had remained resilient while the economy slowed over the last 18 months - predominantly due to their loyal client-base, ability to offer competitive services, and its group of diversified practice areas.
Now, the nine-partner firm with a long history in Victoria is planning to build on its existing client base through an acquisition program that has already seen the firm bring two small firms and one former mid-tier partner on board.
Blogg said his firm predominantly looks for three options in its acquisition strategy. The first is to find firms with a compatible clients base which are simply looking for better support functions to service their clients, the second is to start conversations with firms and sole practitioners that don't have a succession plan and are looking for an exit strategy, and the third option is to scout out partners or teams in other law firms that are looking to move.
And so far, the strategy has proven successful. "We haven't had any difficulties or drop off of clients. Basically everyone comes on board, they move their premises, change their brand but their clients are treated the same, and hopefully in the same manner to which they have been treated in the past," said Blogg.
"The tricky bit is that you don't want to take on board a firm which has totally different practices to you because then it does create tension in the firm and the clients get mixed messages out of it."