CMS UK Partner Martin Mendelssohn discussed North American and European mergers and acquisitions during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by CMS at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in New York on Feb. 19. In his presentation, “Doing the Same Things Differently in M&A Deals in Europe,” Mendelssohn noted that there are both similarities and differences between North American and European M&A deals.
Mendelssohn pointed out that different laws apply in North America and Europe, and understanding how both the North American and European legal systems work is key with M&A deals. Devoting the necessary time and resources to learn about both legal systems can provide long-lasting value for general counsels and their respective organizations as well, Mendelssohn said: “There’s a lot going on and there are a lot of different legal systems. Depending on where the epicenter of your deal is, it pays you to really understand what it is about that system that you’re buying into.”
In addition, Mendelssohn said legal professionals need to understand that there are many different customs or ways that things get done in both North America and Europe. Finding local legal professionals who understand laws, Mendelssohn said, can help ensure that an organization can complete M&A deals in North America and Europe successfully: “It is good to be confident in your local advisors because for those sorts of issues to come up later in the transaction when you’ve already negotiated things can be a real problem between the buyer and the seller.”