M&A as a comodity

Since we started our conversations in 2009, resulting in the creation of the law firm in 2010, we have undergone several transformations. These include the change in the brand and identity, definition of our mission, vision and our values, leave and entry of partners, change of office address and, recently, definition of our mantra, or as some put it, purpose. In the past, we have sought to demystify the idea that we are a Mergers and AcquisitionM&A) boutique to be known as a specialized law firm with few lawyers conducting complex M&A and private equity deals.
What causes this relentless search for an identity that is always undergoing transformations? The answer: the market. In an increasingly competitive environment, in just over a decade, the attorneys’ work in M&A transactions went from a specialized work to a commodity. Who has never heard this phrase: “Anyone can do an M&A transaction.” But to what extent is this true?
Let us go back to our initial discussions. We set up the law firm to carry out transactions in a different and innovative way, with a client focus. We always compared our activity to jazz. That was what inspired us at first. But why?
The timing, arrangement, dedication, refinement, technical enthusiasm and improvisation, but in an organized and thoughtful way, of the musicians in a jazz band can be compared to the work done by the law firm in an M&A transaction, or any other work. Each transaction is unique, each customer is unique and the results are completely different. What we do at the law firm is certainly not a commodity. Here, every work we do for our clients is, “excuse my French”, a masterpiece.
John Coltrane summed up his music in a nutshellparaphrasing): “you don’t need to understand the music… the emotional reaction is all that matters. As long as there’s some feeling of communication, it isn’t necessary that it be understood.”
The client seeks a different result from our work and, therefore, communication with the lawyer is essential. We try to provoke in the client the same feeling that Coltrane provokes with his music Giant Steps. It is a breathtaking piece. The listener gets so absorbed in the music and frenzied melody of Coltrane’s saxophone, Tommy Flanagan’s piano, Paul Chambers bass, and Art Taylor’s drums that he forgets to breathe. When you think you will calm down and get a breath, the musicians surprise you with other rhythms and chords. M&A transactions are very complex and require lawyers who can work in a coordinated and dedicated way, with refinement and melody. Each transaction is unique and has its own peculiarities. Just like every client. The lawyer needs to listen to the client with commitment, to make decisions with caution and to position him/herself with clarity, seeking to achieve successful stories with the client. For this reason, the choice of man M&A lawyer must be carefully considered, always in search of that partner who will meet the specific needs of each case.
By Henrique Martins, partner at Candido Martins Advogados