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Suzanne Marton
Trainee Solicitor, London

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I have just started my first week in my M&A seat. In the morning, my new supervisor briefs me on the deals I am likely to be working on during this seat. It sounds like I will get a chance to work on some matters I have already been heavily involved in during my previous seats, but this time from the M&A-side. I’m glad, because it means I’m already familiar with the transactions and can hit the ground running. There are also some exciting new deals in the pipeline that I will have the opportunity to be a part of. For this week though, I will be primarily working on an M&A matter that I was introduced to a few weeks ago, while I was still in my previous seat (Capital Markets), and finishing up on a few bits and bobs from that seat. This gradual transition from Capital Markets to M&A makes the rotation a lot easier.

I attend a one hour training session on company searches for finance transactions in the morning. Although I am not doing any finance work right now, I take diligent notes, as I know the information will be helpful in future. After the training session, I start work on the Q&A that has just come in for the M&A matter I am on. This is an auction by a company of several of its subsidiaries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Each week, bidders send questions about the target companies to us and we coordinate with the companies and local counsel to provide responses. I go through each of the questions, answer the ones we (S&C) already know the answers to, and contact the appropriate persons for the outstanding questions.

S&C’s Tokyo office asks me to do a final review of an English law opinion that I prepared for them in relation to a bond issue while in my Capital Markets seat. The transaction has changed slightly since the last draft, so I update the opinion, send it to my previous supervisor for review, and send the final version to Tokyo. I then return to my M&A matter, and today I am amending and reviewing the draft SPA for the transaction. I have a meeting with the senior associate on the deal, who explains to me the changes he would like me to make to the SPA. Once I have made the changes, the associate reviews them and provides comments, which I then incorporate into the document.

I spend most of the day in vendor due diligence meetings taking place between the seller and potential bidders. The bidders are conducting their legal due diligence, and so S&C, together with local counsel, are on hand to answer legal questions relating to the target companies. I take notes at these meetings, flagging any points that we need to address afterwards, and circulate the notes in the evening. It’s been an exhausting day, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to attend.

There is more vendor due diligence meetings in the morning, but this time I dial in from the office instead of attending in person, as the meetings are taking place in Eastern Europe. In the afternoon, I follow-up on the points I had flagged as requiring action after the meetings. These are mostly questions that need to be checked with management at the target companies. I also update the virtual data room with documents provided in response to the weekly Q&A questions received on Tuesday. Before I leave the office, I check the schedule for vendor due diligence meetings taking place next week, and send out reminder to local counsel of the meetings they are required to attend.  In the evening, I join my colleagues for a drink at a nearby bar.  It’s a great way to end the week and start the weekend.

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