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Mergers and Acquisitions Law
Mergers and Acquisitions Law Definition
Because of the high-end product that lawyers who practise mergers and acquisitions law are expected to deliver, they face some of the most demanding challenges in terms of the breadth and depth of their legal and industry-specific knowledge, their ability to see the big picture and business savvy. They equally need to master the skill to find bespoke solutions by combining well-trodden paths with innovation and tapping into the expertise of their colleagues practising in other areas of law and industry sectors.
In Russia, mergers and acquisitions law is widely recognised as an area of law that extends to any acquisition or disposal of an interest in a business or the creation of a joint venture. It cuts through various areas of law ranging from purely civil/contract law and corporate law to competition and regulatory law, where it may overlap with, for example, energy and natural resources law. This is driven by the need to ensure that parties can achieve the growth and synergies that the relevant M&A transaction is set to offer.
The diversity of the M&A market offers a number of different deal classifications that serve as a basis for M&A lawyers’ specialities. Apart from distinguishing between M&A deals in various industry sectors (e.g. oil & gas, power, infrastructure, retail, financial services, etc.), experts tend to think of private M&A revolving around transactions with privately-held businesses and public M&A involving primarily takeover bids for public-listed companies. Private M&A deals are done on an exclusive basis or through a competitive process (e.g. an auction). Private equity is a separate niche with its own specific features, mostly affected by the nature of private equity funds with their distinctive structures, risk appetites, funding requirements, legal tools, and the market practice associated with them.
The level of involvement of lawyers in an M&A transaction process is invariably high. Irrespective of the significant in-house M&A capability they may have, even the most sophisticated and acquisitive players tend to entrust themselves to law firms that are able to deliver on a transaction from term sheet to closing and beyond. In Russia, the role of an M&A lawyer spans from structuring the deal and conducting a due diligence review to drafting/negotiating share purchase agreements and making required regulatory filings.
The ongoing transformational reforms of the Russian civil, corporate, and arbitration laws remain in the spotlight for the Russian M&A industry. This, coupled with a potential reform of the legal profession, is destined to set a new impulse to the M&A practice and profession.
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