Asked and AnsweredBy John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMCQ. Our firm is a three partner general practice firm in a small community. Our ages are 72, 68, and 64 respectively. Our firm has not adequately prepared for succession/exit of the partners. We have over the years hired associates but have been unable to keep them - they have all left for greener pastures. We are now contemplating merger with a much larger firm that has 40 plus attorneys. We have had several meetings at the office and we have provided them with our financials. They have not provided us with detailed information. We are getting frustrated. It has been over four months since we began talking with this firm and we seem to be "stuck" and not maintaining momentum. We have other options that we have just begun exploring. How can we get "unstuck" and move this process along?A. Right off the bat - admit that this is not a merger of equals - it is more of an acquisition. Hopefully, you have discussed firm name, whether your existing office will be retained or closed, and the future roles of each you as well as your staff. These are often deal breakers and many firm merger talks never get past this point.