Mergers & Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals

About the Program

APPLY NOW to 2021

PROGRAM DATES: June 14-18, 2021

PROGRAM FEE: $14,500


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


Mergers & Acquisitions: Structuring and Leading Deals is aimed at those with responsibility for managing, overseeing and implementing M&A transactions, with course material viewing M&A through a variety of lenses – strategic, financial, legal, and operational.  It is designed to provide participants with a variety of in-depth analyses of different components of the mergers & acquisitions process:  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, and how targets are integrated after the deal is formally complete.  The focus will be transactions in major markets such as the US and the UK, but the course will also cover aspects of cross-border mergers & acquisitions.  Participants need not have any background in the material, although the course should also add value to those with previous mergers & acquisitions experience.



Why M&A: Structuring and Leading Deals?

Mergers & 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, key 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 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 focused on professional service firms afford participants the opportunity to deliberate on the determinants of sustained firm/organization success.

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

Unlike most other M&A executive education programs, this program will provide a comprehensive look at the process that includes both the business and legal aspects of mergers & acquisitions. Therefore, acceptance to the program is not contingent upon possession of a J.D., LL.B., or equivalent. 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.

Participants for this program include in-house lawyers and others who oversee M&A transactions for large companies and private equity firms, as well as lawyers in other kinds of firms – investment banks, accounting firms, consulting firms – that need to understand the M&A process as part of the services they provide.  Participants also include partners at law firms that handle aspects of M&A and wish to obtain a rounder and more complete view of other aspects of M&A transactions.

This program is open to participants from around the world. We require a proficiency in English to participate. Participants do not need to have any background in the material, although the course should also add value to those with previous M&A experience.

To ensure a collegial, small group setting, the class size is limited.

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 Chair

Mihir Desai

Benjamin C. Esty

Scott Mayfield

Jesse Fried

John Van Maanen

Chancelor Andre Bouchard

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.