Lawyer who has found his niche in cor­po­rate world

Bester Ngoepe is a di­rec­tor in the cor­po­rate and merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions di­vi­sion at Nor­ton Rose Ful­bright SA

Sunday Times - - Careers - By MAR­GARET HAR­RIS What does a cor­po­rate M&A lawyer do?

A cor­po­rate M&A lawyer ad­vises clients, typ­i­cally com­pa­nies, on busi­ness trans­ac­tions. Most com­pa­nies, when they want to grow their busi­nesses, look for other com­pa­nies they can buy or merge with.

This is where cor­po­rate M&A lawyers come in, to ad­vise com­pa­nies in ac­qui­si­tions, dis­pos­als, merg­ers or di­vesti­tures from in­cep­tion un­til the trans­ac­tion is com­pleted and im­ple­mented.

What would one of your typ­i­cal cases in­volve?

Gen­er­ally, my typ­i­cal mat­ter would in­volve a com­pany seek­ing to buy another com­pany or shares in that com­pany. My ini­tial role would then be to as­sist the client with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the af­fairs of the tar­get com­pany to de­ter­mine the risks in the tar­get com­pany and ad­vise the client of these risks. Based on the re­sult of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the tar­get com­pany, I would then ad­vise the client on the struc­tur­ing of the trans­ac­tion, which would be fol­lowed by the ne­go­ti­a­tion, draft­ing and/or re­view of agree­ments and other doc­u­ments associated with the tar­get com­pany’s busi­ness and which are nec­es­sary for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the trans­ac­tion.

What did you want to be when grow­ing up?

I al­ways wanted to be a lawyer as, apart from the fact that I have al­ways wanted to do some­thing chal­leng­ing (and some­thing that is not repet­i­tive be­cause I get bored quite eas­ily), there was a myth dur­ing my high school days that I would make a good de­fence lawyer, which is an irony be­cause I am re­ally an un­apolo­getic in­tro­vert. But then, when I joined a ma­jor law firm for ar­ti­cles, my ca­reer was moulded and shaped by the en­vi­ron­ment and the se­nior col­leagues who took me un­der their wings. Now the per­ceived de­fence lawyer in me is gone.

What do you find most mean­ing­ful about the work you do?

The work I do is cre­ative and so­lu­tion-ori­ented. We as­sist in build­ing and sav­ing com­pa­nies, thereby con­tribut­ing to the build­ing of our econ­omy through the cre­ation of big­ger and sus­tain­able cor­po­rates. To me, there is noth­ing more ful­fill­ing than see­ing a com­pany that you started ad­vis­ing when it was a small start-up grow­ing into a big con­glom­er­ate. I have wit­nessed and con­tinue to wit­ness the growth of some of the clients that I ad­vise.

What part of your job would you like to

change or not do at all?

My job en­tails long hours and, if I could, I would try to strike a good work-life bal­ance. I guess it comes with the ter­ri­tory. What other work would you like to do?

I would like to do more pro bono work, which is com­pletely un­re­lated to my cor­po­rate lawyer­ing work. I have al­ready started be­ing in­volved in projects that ben­e­fit pri­mary schools in Lim­popo, but I could do more.

Pic­ture: Moeletsi Mabe

Bester Ngoepe says he wanted to be­come a lawyer be­cause he wanted to do some­thing chal­leng­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.