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