As an M&A lawyer, having a good knowledge of company law isn’t enough. On a day to day basis, I work with many specialist lawyers, often across a number of our offices. One aspect of my job is to analyse the issues within a business and help our clients to determine whether we have identified a minor issue that can be fixed post-completion, or if we have discovered something that could really impact on the value of the business they are hoping to buy.
The issues that arise vary widely depending on the type of business you’re working with, the jurisdiction and the industry sector. Resolving an issue on one transaction means you’re much better equipped to spot the same issue the next time round. That said, each deal has its own set of circumstances, which means there’s always something new to learn, even if you’ve been doing this job for decades.
One of my favourite aspects of my job is the variety of clients I work with: I can go from selling beer companies to buying tech start-ups. I meet so many people who are passionate about their businesses, and it’s always a real privilege to be part of their team while we work to get their transaction to a successful conclusion.
Someone once asked me whether I felt I’d missed out on having a career in a more creative industry. It may sound like a surprising response, but to me, being a lawyer is one of the most creative jobs you can have. Each transaction I work on has a solution that means that both sides get what they want – my team’s role is to help our clients find a way to get there, navigating the challenges and surprises along the way. In a successful negotiation, everyone can walk away feeling like they’ve won.
Hogan Lovells has a really supportive culture. My mentor partner, Richard Diffenthal, has had a huge impact on my life as a lawyer. He’s a great teacher and is always working on something exciting, so I jump at the chance for us to work together. Richard is one of my biggest advocates and a regular source of advice and support in relation to all aspects of the job. Having someone to learn from who takes an active interest in my personal and professional development has made a real difference as I've progressed in my career.
My advice to someone about to begin their journey as a lawyer would be to stay enthusiastic, keep an open mind about what types of work you’ll enjoy, and remember that every task matters. Each opportunity you’re given is a chance for you to demonstrate that you should be trusted with more complex work and more responsibility.
It's equally important to remember that being part of Hogan Lovells is about more than just being a good lawyer; it’s important that you immerse yourself in the culture and your team. You won’t get the most out of your experience by just sitting at your desk!