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General Counsel and M&A

Posted by: Laurence Simons 04/06/14

How to best manage mergers and acquisitions (M&As) has been a hot dinnertime topic in recent weeks, with Pfizer’s takeover of AstraZeneca receiving the most coverage.

Most of my own knowledge around the deal is based on John Humphreys shouting at me on Radio 4 of a morning, which means its rather mixed up with that dream about scoring the winning penalty at Windsor Park.

Pfizer’s planned £63 billion takeover bid for AstraZeneca raised concerns by MPs in the UK Government over the nature of the bid.

They are keen to avoid a repeat of the Kraft/Cadbury farrago in 2010, when the US-based giant bought the historic British confectioners but went on to swiftly break the job pledges made before the takeover.

The scrutiny placed on the Pfizer takeover has highlighted the importance of carrying out due process effectively and the role that in-house lawyers can play in this manoeuvring period.

The importance of strong, experienced General Counsel is underlined during such events, which require someone who understands the fine details and can ensure deals are pushed through in a timely and thorough fashion.

With M&A activity on the increase globally as the macroeconomic situation begins to improve after the credit crunch, GCs could find themselves taking a leading role within their organisation.

Hopefully, this will prove good leverage for jobseekers keen to negotiate a competitive salary and bonus package with their potential employer.