Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals (Online)

About the Program


PROGRAM DATES: June 14-18  2021


Applications may be submitted after the deadline and will be considered if space remains.


Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals (Online)

Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals provides participants with an overview of the M&A process through multiple lenses including strategic, financial, legal, and operational. The program is designed to provide participants with in-depth analysis of the components of mergers and acquisitions. Participants will explore:

  • How M&A can be a core component of firm strategy
  • How targets and synergies are valued
  • How M&A transactions are sourced, initiated, and priced
  • How deals are structured and designed
  • What kinds of disputes and potential lawsuits arise over the course of an M&A transaction
  • How targets are integrated after the deal is formally complete


Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals is aimed at those with responsibility for managing, overseeing, and implementing M&A transactions. The focus will be transactions in major markets such as the U.S. and the U.K., but the course will also cover aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Participants do not need to have a background in mergers and acquisitions and the course will add value to those with previous mergers and acquisitions experience.

Apply today for Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals.



Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals is an immersive program designed to provide participants with an overview of the M&A process through multiple lenses.

The program aims to prepare you to:

  • Identify key stages of a deal, critical decisions in each stage, and the major legal and other constraints on those decisions.
  • Create strategies to mitigate risks and leverage opportunities to successfully navigate each stage of deal.
  • Identify the motives for and parameters of a range of deal types, including large and small, domestic and cross-border, public and private target, friendly and hostile, whole company and partial acquisitions.
  • Understand the M&A process from different perspectives including strategy, finance, negotiations, law, tax, and operations to better steer your organization (and/or clients) through future deals.

The Learning Model

Case studies, lectures, classroom discussions, and small group discussions ensure that techniques and strategies are memorable and implementable. Case studies on law firms and other professional service firms give participants exposure to real-world issues and help them work through possible approaches and solutions to the problems that professional service firm leaders confront. Participants practice making decisions about challenging real-life management problems in professional service settings.


This program will explore the following concepts through the lens of M&A:

  • Strategy– When to do a deal and how to assess if a deal is good
  • Courtship– Who to partner with and what elements to include in NDAs, Letters of Intent, and other contracts
  • Finance– Identifying the financial implications of a deal
  • Legal Negotiation– Having discussions centered around structure, tax, anti-trust, and regulation
  • Negotiation– Executing and completing the deal
  • Integration– How to work between the two entities once the deal is complete

About the Format

Mergers and Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals will take place on the Harvard Zoom platform. There will be two or three program sessions every day between the hours of 10:00 a.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET. Accepted participants should reserve this window on their calendars until we circulate a finalized program schedule. Each session will be between 1 – 2 hours long, and we will schedule a break of at least 30 minutes between the sessions.

In order to complete the program and earn a certificate of completion, participants are expected to attend every session. As with our on-campus programs, class size will be limited.

Building Community and Networks

Our highly interactive sessions and workshops will include frequent breakout group discussions and activities. These opportunities will help ensure that participants get to know each other and learn from each other’s thoughts, ideas and perspectives. Additionally, participants who complete the program will join our global Alumni Network, through which they will be invited to attend future residential and online programs offered by HLS Executive Education.

Who Should Attend?

Unlike most other M&A executive education programs, this program will provide a comprehensive look at the process including both the business and legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Participants in this program should be positioned within their organization to advise on or oversee M&A deals. In particular, individuals who are new to that role, taking on greater responsibility, or who need a more well-rounded understanding of M&A and its effects on their organization or client, will benefit from this program. Applicants to the program are not required to have a J.D., LL.B., or equivalent.

Past participants for this program have included:

  • In-house lawyers and others who oversee M&A transactions for large companies and private equity firms
  • Lawyers in investment banks, accounting firms, and consulting firms who need to understand the M&A process as part of the services they provide.
  • Partners at law firms that handle aspects of M&A and wish to obtain more complete view of other aspects of M&A transactions.
  • Mid-senior level business professionals who must understand the M&A process for their work in fields such as private equity, venture capital, investment banking, consulting, accounting, and tax planning.
  • Business leaders who advise/decide on the acquisition of other businesses within their company.

This program is open to participants from around the world. Participants do not need to have a background in mergers and acquisitions and the course will add value to those with previous mergers and acquisitions experience.

Visit the Admissions page for information on the process.

Our core faculty are members of the Harvard Law School faculty – distinguished academicians, educators, researchers, authors, and practitioners in their respective fields. Representing various disciplines, they are close to practice through relationships with law firm leaders and through personal involvement as consultants for top firms around the world.

Program Teaching Team

John Coates IV – Program Faculty Chair

Benjamin C. Esty

Jesse Fried

John Van Maanen

Bob Mnookin

Learn more about the faculty by visiting our Faculty page and using the drop down menu (“Search By Faculty Type”) to select the program of interest.