Your manufacturing M&A team can make or break the transaction well before the buyer gets involved. The right legal counsel is key here. Don’t just hire the first lawyer you interview, or rely on your in-house counsel to shepherd the deal through to completion. A highly experienced M&A attorney brings real value to the transaction by helping you comply with your legal obligations and ensuring your business is prepared for a sale.
Before you hire an M&A attorney, it’s important to ask pointed questions to assess the lawyer’s experience and legal acumen. Get started with the following queries:
- Does the firm specialize in manufacturing M&A, and have a demonstrated history of successful deals?
- Does the firm usually represent buyers, sellers, or both?
- What are some recent successful transactions they can point to? Can they offer references?
- Can the firm describe a recent example of a transaction, the issues that arose during the transaction, and how the firm managed those issues?
- Does the firm have a history of representing private equity or venture capital entities?
- What size transactions does the firm specialize in?
- Will you be working with a partner or a junior associate?
- How much time will the firm be willing to devote to your transaction?
- What is the specific fee structure and breakdown you can expect? How often will you be billed?
- Are they a local, global, ore regional firm? Where are their offices located?
- Do they have experience with cross-border intellectual property language?
- What is their tax experience? Can they deal with cross-national taxes?
- What is their experience negotiating representations and warranties?
- Does the firm have experience negotiating indemnification agreements? What is that experience?
- Will the firm consider a fixed fee?
- Does the firm have any potential conflicts of interest?
- How many people will work on your transaction?
- How frequently should you expect to meet with the firm?
- How long will it take to get a return call or email from a partner?
This list is by no means inclusive of all potential questions. So it’s important to consider other issues that may be important to your business, such as experience with specific technologies, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, or experience with government contracts. This is like any other job interview, so treat it as such and ask whatever you need to know to feel confident in the firm’s skill.