A recent article in CFO magazine declared that U.S. companies cannot do deals without being sued. Legal actions have always seemed out of control, but are we now simply in a heightened state in today’s business world? One comment in the CFO article touched on the types of companies that buy others all the time (private-equity firms) often having plenty of incentive to fight lawsuits rather than simply settling them. Most everyone else just wants to pay the pesky litigators to disappear, i.e., “the cost of doing business.”
With M&A forecasts looking very active for the second half of the year—accounting firms and businesses in general—the billable hours are going to stack up. Are attorneys representing shareholders of the acquired companies merely trying to earn their keep? They’re typically suing for more money, better terms, enhanced disclosure…and everything I’ve read on this subject in the past year indicates that it’s mostly a glorified shell game. The majority of those involved (other than lawyers) are aching for an easier, more straightforward M&A process. Maybe that’s a pipedream given our overly litigious society, especially when we frequently hear about bozos in the general public suing over hot coffee spills and the like. And, of course, there’s the moron in Pittsburgh who just the other day sued the Pittsburgh Penguins over “excessive text messages.” You can read more that puck-head in the Accounting Fun channel in iShade’s BulletIN section.
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