What to Do When Your Company Merges With Another

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on November 11, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week Office Depot and OfficeMax completed their merger, and it made us wonder, what is going to happen to each respective legal department?

Here are some things we think are important to consider if you work in the legal department of a company that was merging with another ...

1. Risk Averse -- Call Your Headhunter

You don't like to take chances. Your desk is tidy. You like predictability and job security. Working in a company that is in the midst of a merger means one thing -- your job may not exist after integration. It's harsh, but true.

Often, one of the reasons for merging is to increase efficiencies and having twice as many lawyers than necessary is not very efficient. It may be well advised to have a plan b and set up a meeting with a headhunter just to see what else it out there.

2. Risk Takers -- Volunteer for Integration Team

You get bored easily. You hate working on the same stuff all the time. You want to be challenged and constantly learning. Maybe you've never worked on a merger, but you've always wanted to know the nuts and bolts of how M&A works. Now's your chance.

If you weren't on the actual M&A team that put the deal together, you have a second chance to get some M&A experience -- on the integration side. Chances are, your legal department will be putting together a team to deal with the integration of the law departments. This is a great way for you to gain more experience and knowledge, and fingers crossed, your job will still be there after the integration.

3. Risk Neutral -- Go With the Flow

You take things as they come, and don't feel particularly risky or risk averse -- you're somewhere in the middle. Maybe you just don't even care that much. You're happy doing what you do, you're not anxious enough to start looking for a job, but you're also not volunteering for more work the integration team. If things don't work out, you'll deal with it then. (Sometimes we wish we could be this relaxed).

Ultimately, whatever path you choose, will depend on your anxiety comfort level. Once you figure out what that is, your next steps will be clear.

Have you ever worked for a company that merged with another? How did it affect your career? Tell us by tweeting us @FindLawLP.

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