What is Corporate Law?
Is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and businesses.
It regulates how corporations, investors, shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders such as consumers, the community, and the environmentinteract with one another.
What does corporate law involve?
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.
Amongst the different types of deals and transactions which constitute corporate law, a big portion of work involves dealing with private equity funds and listing clients’ companies on recognised stock exchanges.
A private equity player usually holds some kind of stock or ownership in unlisted companies.
A private equity lawyer’s job is to make relevant financial arrangements when it comes to floating a new business venture, further expansion of operations, a tie-up or takeover with another company, or MBO financing.
What makes a good corporate lawyer?
To thrive in corporate law, you will need to develop an exemplary knowledge of business law, current trends and legislative and regulatory developments.
Furthermore, you will need to build up a familiarity with corporate and business law in other jurisdictions where your clients have operations or are looking to invest.
A corporate lawyer needs to have strong communication and negotiation skills, an excellent academic background, the ability to think ‘out-of-the-box’, exceptional analytical skills and meticulous attention to detail.
Teamwork is an essential feature of most corporate transactions. You will work with groups of professionals who share a common objective and therefore your interpersonal and people management skills should be top-notch.
A good corporate lawyer is ambitious, thrives on challenges and relentlessly chases their goals.
If you want to make good money then corporate law is for you. However, before you do think about committing to this area law, you should know that it is very competitive, you will be working insane hours and often be under immense pressure.
Terms to Know
Corporation – A legal entity formed to conduct business; can be either a close corporation, where only a few people own the corporation and its stock is not publicly traded, or a public corporation, whose stock is traded on the stock exchange
S Corporation – A special type of corporation with a limited number of shareholders that enjoys certain tax benefits but without the stock options of a typical corporation
Piercing the Corporate Veil – A judicial act of imposing personal liability on the owners, shareholders, or officers of a corporation for the corporation’s wrongful acts
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – The executive with the chief decision-making authority to manage daily operations in a corporation; appointed by the corporation’s board of directors
Board of Directors (BOD) – A groups of individuals elected by the shareholders of a corporation to manage the corporation’s affairs and appoint officers