What attracts you to corporate and M&A as a practice area?
I relish the opportunity to be involved in landmark transactions, solving complex problems and delivering positive outcomes for clients.
Corporate / M&A is an area of the law that takes me on the journey with clients as they move through the lifecycle of their business, from early structuring and initial capital raisings to subsequent investments, new business opportunities, growth through acquisitions, all the way through to exit via sale or public listing.
Applying the law to add value for clients is highly creative and, because the stakes are often high and the outcomes are positive, longstanding relationships are developed which are built on mutual respect and trust.
“Applying the law to add value for clients is highly creative and, because the stakes are often high and the outcomes are positive, longstanding relationships are developed which are built on mutual respect and trust.”
You recently completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School. Why did you do the MBA and how has it extended your skill set as a lawyer?
Transactional work is all about business and all about people.
At ABL, we pride ourselves on being able to think like our clients, to appreciate their objectives, and the opportunities and challenges they face. Undertaking my MBA has helped me to view the law through a business lens, rather than viewing business only through the practice of black-letter law.
The MBA has further developed my business skills so I can be a more effective adviser to clients, with knowledge and experience across various facets of business including strategy, leadership, decision making, economics, finance and accounting.
My studies have also helped me to further develop softer skills relating to emotional intelligence, cultural and other sensitivities, and to recognise and mitigate against negative unconscious biases which may adversely affect decision making.
What do you see as the major trends that will impact the work you’re doing over the next 12 months?
- The continued rise of shareholder activism, particularly from overseas players seeking to disrupt the status quo, putting pressure on underperforming boards in order to unlock untapped shareholder value.
- Companies becoming more focussed on efficiency and strategic fit resulting in non-core assets being divested or demerged from core business units.
- Greater availability of venture capital funding for investment in tech start-ups, as well as established non-tech companies seeking to acquire technology assets. In addition smart private money backing early-stage businesses with quality management, who may be less inclined to race towards IPO after the spate of high profile failed public listings.
How would you describe the unique ABL difference?
At ABL we develop deep client relationships. We have the best of both worlds here, working on landmark deals, but in a place with a small firm feel.
The transactions in which we are involved are often ambitious, demanding and high value, with challenging components and timelines.
ABL’s practitioners demonstrate market leading expertise, but strategically refuse to be constrained by that expertise. We are outcome focussed and operate on the principle of getting smart, driven people together to deliver on the client’s objectives.
Transactions typically cross multiple practice areas, and rather than operating in isolation and focussing only on a single discrete practice area, at ABL we work in multi-disciplinary teams across departments and engage with tax, banking & finance, property, workplace relations and competition to deliver a seamless service for clients.
ABL encourages its practitioners to be different, to be creative and to follow passions outside of work, with a very strong focus on supporting a myriad of communal causes.