Insight into the life of a deal lawyer

December 7, 2010 Ronald Barusch spent over 30 years as an M&A practitioner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, before retiring this year. In this article he gives some insight into the life of a deal lawyer, describing long hours, the burden of travel, competitive anxiety and managing the stress of clients alongside the rush of dealmaking.

Barusch specialised in cross-border deals, and each deal involved at least two continents and sometimes three. Conference calls involving New York, England and Australia meant that someone needed to dial in at around 4 am – and that someone was usually Barusch.

He says that making deals for a living takes ‘a step beyond just working hard. It consumes, defines, and, in large measure, is, your life.’

Barusch’s decision to retire partly arose from a growing sense that his professional responsibilities in the firm were changing – he realized that it would become increasingly important for him to bring in new clients. Since sales were not his forte and were not as enjoyable as deal work, he decided to call it quits and consider the next stage in his career.

Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

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