Month: February 2017

Ten Things: The Essentials of a Successful Trans-Border Transaction

One of the most exciting events for an in-house lawyer is when their company becomes involved in a merger/acquisition, joint venture, or other strategic transaction.  It becomes even more challenging when the transaction is international in nature.  And it really becomes fun when it involves multiple companies in multiple countries.  While such transactions are rare for most companies, many in-house counsel will need to deal with a trans-border transaction at some point in their careers, either as a prime member of the deal team or as a subject matter expect who participates in a specific part of the deal.  Regardless, there are a number of things you need to be aware of in order to help facilitate a smooth landing of the deal.  A while back, I participated on a panel at Baker McKenzie’s annual “Doing Business Globally” event in Dallas, Texas.  My panel discussed winning strategies in cross-border deals.  Joining me were Michael E. Santa Maria, a partner in the Dallas office of Baker McKenzie, and Matt Haltom, the General Counsel for Sally Beauty Supply.  This edition of “Ten Things” will borrow from the presentation we gave at that event (and thank you to the good folks at Baker McKenzie for permission to do so),[1] along with some recent updates and links to resources.   Here are ten things you need to know for a successful trans-border transaction:

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Ten Things: Ten Things In-House Lawyers Should Read Every Day

There is a great episode of the old TV series The Twilight Zone where Burgess Meredith (The Penguin on TV’s Batman/”Mick” in the Rocky films) finds out he is the last man on earth, having survived a nuclear bomb explosion while reading in the vault of the bank where he works.  Not only is he the last man on earth, he ends up near the local library and realizes that the books are all intact and that he now has all the time in the world to devote to the thing he loves most – reading.  Unfortunately, as he is bending to pick up a book his glasses slip off and shatter leaving him virtually blind and, in typical Twilight Zone fashion, unable to read.  Yikes!  Well, it’s no secret that I love to read.  More so even then binge-watching on Netflix (and that’s saying something).  So, this episode of The Twilight Zone has haunted me for years and years – so much that I always keep an extra pair of glasses around “just in case.”

I used to tell my team, if you send me something, I will read it – no matter what.  This usually meant my in-box was full of emails, articles, pdf’s, and pretty much “you-name-it” in terms of things people wanted to share with me to read.  I loved it, though sometimes it did get to be a bit much and there was no way I could get through the pile in one day.   I have also written in this blog about the importance of in-house counsel of being well-read (especially for those seeking to move up the chain).  For example, see my posts on The Habits of Highly Effective In-House Counsel and Becoming General CounselTo put it bluntly, it you don’t enjoy reading and you are a lawyer, you probably made the wrong career move.  While reading is great, the sheer volume of choices of “what to read” can be overwhelming, both in terms of work life and personal life.  There is just “too much” information out there to read everything you want to read.  So, it’s important to cut things down, especially when it comes to reading things for the job.  As General Counsel, I once shared with my team the things that I read every day, things that I felt made me a better in-house lawyer and a better employee of the company.  In this edition of “Ten Things” I want to share that list and what I think are ten things all in-house counsel should read every day:

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