The Next Drivers of Strategic M&A

The Next Drivers of Strategic M&A positioned global law firm, Eversheds Sutherland, as strategic thought leaders by revealing the new triarchy of business imperatives driving mergers and acquisitions: talent, tech and trade.

Eversheds Sutherland logo


Global law firm, Eversheds Sutherland, challenged Man Bites Dog to create a signature thought leadership campaign to position the firm as a global authority within the crowded M&A space.

Using our proprietary 4D strategic ideation framework, Man Bites Dog identified an opportunity for Eversheds Sutherland to stand out from retrospective deal reporting and technical M&A insight by focusing on the business drivers of future mergers and acquisitions. Our team designed and executed research that would enable Eversheds Sutherland to anticipate strategic change within the market and create a vision of the next economy, to position the M&A practice as a trusted partner on clients’ international strategic deals.

The Next Drivers of Strategic M&A created a platform for the firm’s lawyers to share their insights – backed by unique, forward-looking data – to initiate business conversations with GCs, the corporate C-Suite and the Advisory community about how M&A can unlock business growth ambitions in the new economy.

“We wanted to do something forward-looking to cut through the noise. Something that would show strategic change in the market and move us away from the pack who largely comment on deal and market data. We also wanted to shift the focus of our content and enable our lawyers to talk about the market, as well as black letter law.”

Robert Chamberlain
Head of Practice Group Marketing and Business Development, Eversheds Sutherland


Man Bites Dog set out to identify what the next business drivers of strategic value were going to be and how strategic M&A could unlock that value and drive future business success.

To do this, we conducted opinion research with 1,200 business leaders across Eversheds Sutherland’s priority sectors in 16 markets worldwide to reveal the new business imperatives driving strategic M&A: talent, tech and trade.

This new ‘M&A Triarchy’ is driving the next M&A market, with more than seven in 10 business leaders identifying these factors as the key levers of growth and core to their future business strategy.

Brand and reputation was identified as the most valuable attribute in a target by dealmakers across all sectors, with 68% of business leaders stating that brand and reputation would significantly increase the valuation of a prospect. While leaders are mindful of ESG, it emerged surprisingly much lower on the value scale.

Thanks to this proprietary research, Eversheds Sutherland’s Partners were able to set themselves apart from competitor M&A market commentary and instead share the business story at the heart of M&A – backed by hard data and expert insights. The campaign enabled Eversheds Sutherland’s Partners to have business conversations with their clients and prospects that extended beyond legal aspects of M&A, to discuss how M&A can satisfy an organisation’s strategic demand for talent, technology innovation and trade expansion, including the type of deals a client might benefit from and the potential challenges they could face.

The campaign was launched globally with a suite of content assets including an authoritative whitepaper report authored by the Man Bites Dog team and a series of social assets. Eversheds Sutherland held a dedicated conference – Strategic M&A: The Next Drivers of Competitive Advantage – with a series of panel discussions informed by the research findings.

“Perhaps the outcome I’m most proud of personally is the impact the campaign has had on the confidence of our lawyers to share their views on the market. This campaign created an opportunity for us to not only talk about law with clients; we could talk to them as fellow business people about the type of deals they will be doing and the issues they are likely to come across as a result.”

Robert Chamberlain
Head of Practice Group Marketing and Business Development, Eversheds Sutherland

launch event attendees
pieces of media coverage in publications across the globe
website hits


The campaign secured more than 1,250 pieces of media coverage in publications across the globe, and 10,000 relevant website hits. The launch conference attracted over 150 high-value attendees from a variety of sectors, leading to follow-up conversations with key prospects. Further events in Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York and Paris engaged over 1,000 attendees, and the campaign generated over 500,000 impressions across priority social media platforms.

The campaign had a significant revenue contribution, helping Eversheds Sutherland to grow its global reputation for insights as well as expertise. The firm’s corporate Partners were encouraged to initiate business conversations based on the research findings with their contacts, securing over 250 meetings and intermediary exchanges that resulted in more than 2,000 interactions overall.

"The Next Drivers of Strategic M&A has quickly proven itself an invaluable thought leadership campaign that we’re using to initiate discussions with clients and share our ideas within the industry. Where I think this campaign succeeded far beyond anything I have worked on before is how deeply rooted in our strategy it was.

“From the inception of the campaign, Man Bites Dog took the time to understand our business and campaign objectives and showed true expertise in looking beyond the topics that everyone else is talking about, guiding us toward the strategic whitespace that showcases what Eversheds Sutherland does best."

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