What does your role entail?
My main role is working on acquisitions and divestments of portfolio companies and assets for our clients. My work on these transactions is often a mix between due diligence, matter management (such as communicating with specialist teams), and working on transaction documents. As our private equity clients hold businesses for extended periods of time, there is also business-as-usual work required from our firm such as managing corporate governance matters.
Due to the nature of private equity (being the business of buying businesses), I often get to work on buying and selling a range of target companies and assets. Although my main role is verifying the structure and rigidity of the key contracts of these businesses, there is also an expectation that I become aware of the variety of risks which can affect a business. This means I am regularly examining companies and assets to determine how they operate to ensure I can identify what can go wrong and how to best protect our client.
What is the most rewarding aspect and the most challenging aspect about your job?
The most rewarding moments in my role are almost always realised in hindsight. These moments generally occur when a deadline is approaching and an aspect of the deal changes abruptly. This change could result from a variety of things such as a last-minute renegotiation, a tweaking of the preferred structure, or a curveball demand being made from the vendor or buyer. The high quality of work and discussion produced during these final moments before a deadline is a product of a close-knit team who have a deep knowledge of the proposed transaction and our client’s interests.
One of the most challenging aspects of my role is ensuring I effectively prioritise my time. To achieve this, I continually need to be aware of my workload, the workload of others, and the status/next steps of the matter. Managing this aspect of my day is crucial and something I feel I will always be able to improve upon.
What attracted you to this role?
At JWS, a successful applicant is free to join and work for whichever team they like. In other words, there are no rotations and clerks can take their time to find out the type of work they like doing and the people they enjoy working for. This means that junior lawyers can get a broad range of experience and always feel like they can try something different without the risk of potentially missing out on a practice area due to their rotation preferences not being in their favour.
However, the benefits of this alternative approach are only fully realised when you begin working and realise the high calibre of clients and broad range of matters we work on. Despite being in the private equity team today, I still touch base to try and work on the exciting new class action matter or IPO that walks through the door.