The Value of Counsel

As part of a concerted effort to stay informed and relevant, Capstone strongly encourages taking advantage of continuing education opportunities. I recently attended a lecture at Georgetown Law School with several guest speakers, each starting their own business. Though the topics discussed were through the lens of legal counsel, I believe the main points can easily be applied to the role of an M&A consultant.

One of the speakers brought up how they view counsel. They said they look for three actions that bring value to him and his company – he wants to be guided, he wants to be challenged and many times he just wants to be validated.

These three aspects really stood out as similar daily interactions between Capstone and our clients.

The most obvious value that counsel brings to the table is their ability to guide the client. In many cases the client will have little to no external growth experience. This is where the counsel can provide insight on pitfalls and opportunities drawing on a wealth of experiences.

Secondly, clients are looking for someone with knowledge in external growth to challenge their ideas – “does this make sense?”

Lastly, and in my view most forgotten aspect of counsel, would be to simply validate the clients’ concerns or ideas.

While the client my not have the actual experience in closing a transaction, it would be hard-pressed to find an better authority on their business than the owner themselves. The client often has hunches and ideas as to what type of deal makes the most sense, it is in this scenario where the counsel should leverage their clients knowledge base to validate those intuitions, when appropriate.