Practice What I Preach

A strange title for a lawyer who for over 30 years has been involved in corporate law, but all will become clear. I have had the pleasure of running my own firm with Harminder for nearly 20 years, specialising in sales, mergers and acquisitions together with real estate, banking and finance, and dispute resolution.

Just like many budding entrepreneurs, when we first started on our journey at Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers (“HH”), there was no road map, but a wealth of enthusiasm and self-belief. However, sometimes enthusiasm and self-belief are not enough to get you through difficult times.

As with any journey, there are always bumps in the road, and what I learnt from HH is that talking to people to get ideas helps clarify your own perspective in what needs to be done, and that is why having a good professional contact base is invaluable, as without lawyers and accountants, doing business can become problematic.

Given that HH specialise in corporate disposals and acquisitions, Harminder and I put in practice all of the advice we gave clients and the lessons to be learnt and to be shared are very simple but cogent. These include:

  • Find a suitor who you actually believe shares your values and can help continue to carry on what you have created. Think of this as a relay race when you are passing on the batten whilst the race is not over.
  • Negotiations are always difficult, but be upfront and clear in what you want and what you expect to happen, as it is better that a transaction falls down at an early stage, rather than at the last minute.
  • Be focused on the overall picture and not just on certain key aspects as price is always important, but at the end of the day, you have to ensure that what you have done will continue and you can only do this by ensuring that the people who have helped you in your journey continue their journey with the new suitor.
  • Always ensure that the combination of the two is greater than the sum of the parts, as the more opportunity that can be created, the easier integration becomes, and it is not just through economies of scale, but it is through the sharing of ideas and alignment of long term goals.

So, all of the advice I have given to clients, Harminder and I put into practice ourselves when we sold HH to Bamboo Group Holdings Limited in order to achieve our goals. More importantly, to ensure the longevity of the business and brand that we created in order to help continue the growth to the next level.

To all of those who are thinking of exiting, take on board these lessons as they will ensure that whatever you do will be a great success. We will be happy to assist you in the next chapter of your journey.