The Use of a Multi-Perspectival Research Model for a Discourse Study of M&A Commercial Law Practice

Anthony Townley


This article reports on the use of a multi-perspectival research model to produce a comprehensive ontology of legal negotiation discourse. The different, overlapping research perspectives of the “MP model” oblige the researcher to deploy a variety of analytical tools to account for the complexity of social discourse activities. In this study, I analysed legal documents, email communication and discourse practices pertaining to the negotiation of a Mergers-and-Acquisitions (M&A) transaction, in English, across different European jurisdictions. My research process also involved site visits to a law firm in Istanbul to obtain grounded explanations from lawyers involved in this M&A negotiation process. The MP model enabled me to coordinate analyses of the written corpus with the ethnographic research findings to produce richly contextualized explanations of a wide range of discursive practices and of the interactional roles and relationships of the legal and business professionals involved in the negotiation process.


multi-perspectival research model, M&A commercial law practice, contract negotiation, discourse analysis, genre analysis

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