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On 12 October we held our inaugural conference for Heads of Legal and GCs with the theme “Building Growth and Efficiency for in-house legal teams” which included expert panels sharing their views.

For our second panel, M&A specialist Chris Dobson, Corporate Partner at Boyes Turner was joined by Mark Blunden, VP and General Counsel EMEA of Culligan and Barbara Keane, General Counsel and Company Secretary of Origin Enterprises plc. Mark discusses his role within an M&A transaction and how the in-house legal team being involved at the very outset in discussions regarding how the deal is shaped can be beneficial and add value.

Barbara reflects on how important it is to leverage off prior deals and knowledge and considers ways in which that expertise can be captured for use in future transactions.

Mark and Barbara discuss how the role of the in-house team has evolved and what skills are needed to be a credible internal adviser and how to act as a bridge across the whole breadth of the business.

The last key issue considered was how people are brought into the organisation post-acquisition and Barbara and Mark comment on how the structure of the deal can impact integration, particularly when there is an earn-out provision. They discuss how to maximise the benefit of the acquisition in these circumstances.