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Corporate Law Firm in Church Street
MS Legal Associates:
Corporate law also company or corporations law is the study of how shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders such as consumers, the community and the environment interact with one another. Corporate law is a part of a broader companies law (or law of business associations).
As a corporate lawyer, your portfolio of work will usually involve: acting on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the restructuring of corporate entities and the hiving-off of unprofitable sections.
You might help list clients on stock exchanges across the world, secure finance from private equity players and venture capitalists.
Your work on any deal or transaction will move through different stages. Firstly, you might negotiate and prepare draft documentation in association with your client's various accountants, financial advisors and managerial representatives.
Helping to procure finance, either from banks or private investors, securing guarantees and other assets, might form part of the deal, as will completing due-diligence reports and checking on debts, employees, ownership details and existing liabilities.
To top it off, you might finalise the deal with all involved parties, getting necessary approvals through resolutions at board meetings, and completing registration and other formalities wherever necessary.
Under the general heading of "corporate" there are several major areas of practice such as mergers and acquisitions, real estate, corporate finance, and insolvency and banking. There are also common tasks that a junior lawyer will be asked to do. These tasks are generally applicable to all corporate practice regardless of the area of practice.
General closing preparation
As a junior you will be given tasks to help ensure closings run smoothly. A "closing" is the day a deal is set to be finalized, where all relevant contracts have been signed and money exchanges hands. Regardless of if it is a bank financing or an acquisition of a new company, all closings need juniors to handle the paperwork. When you are working on a closing, you will be given a list of all of the documents (the closing agenda/checklist) and your job will be to keep track of where each document is, including if your firm is drafting it or if it will come from another law firm or third party.
You will also be put in charge of ensuring all documents are executed by preparing signature pages for clients to sign. The night before the closing is usually very hectic because everyone will be busy trying to finalize, execute, and exchange all necessary documents. After the closing, when money has been exchanged, it will be up to the junior to put together a closing book, which is a compilation of all of the documents delivered for the closing. Unless you are extremely organized, just the sheer number of documents in some closings may be hard to track let alone the right document version and the right signature pages.
Due diligence is one of those buzzwords we've all heard of, but what does it actually mean? In corporate practice, due diligence can be thought of as fact finding. For M&A transactions, this usually means reviewing and summarizing contracts. Students will be given a contract summary template to follow and be instructed to provide summaries of the contracts they are given to review. The role of the junior is to spot and highlight any issues they see in those contracts. The summaries will then be reviewed by a more senior associate and complied into a diligence report.
For corporate finance, diligence could involve work such as finding proof of certain statements made in a prospectus or researching past company filings and disclosure documents. Due diligence encompasses any work that can be considered "doing homework" on the companies involved in the deal. The goal of diligence is to help the client find out as much information as possible. The information found through diligence will help clients make decisions such as whether or not to buy a company.
Finally, juniors may be called on to do basic drafting of documents. Often juniors will be tasked with drafting documents such as officer's certificates, director's resolutions, or other deal documents such as receipts or consents. Juniors may also be asked to draft parts of disclosure documents including documents that will get filed publically such as a material change report, or used privately such as securities offering memorandums.
For the most part, when you are given a drafting task there will already be precedents and model language for you to work from, which you will need to adapt to the current deal. Drafting is an exercise in creative rewording and therefore looking for precedents from previous deals similar to the one you are working on is an excellent starting point.
Corporate lawyers ensure the legality of business practices and transactions. Working for all sizes of corporations, these professionals must understand laws and regulations to help their clients and companies work within legal boundaries. Like other lawyers, corporate lawyers must obtain a Juris Doctor from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and pass the bar exam in order to practice.
Job Duties of a Corporate Lawyer
Corporate lawyers provide legal guidance for employers and clients. Lawyers typically begin a new case by meeting with clients and trying to understand the details of the legal issue. This may include reading corporate filings and consulting with other attorneys. After assessing the issue, corporate lawyers typically research prior cases and look for established precedents.
Some corporate lawyers work in courtrooms and represent their clients in front of a judge and jury. During a trial, they make opening and closing arguments in addition to examining and cross-examining witnesses. Although corporate lawyers typically work for large companies, they may also be self-employed and contract themselves out to many different firms.