In-house life – Leslie Zhang Cnooc

My team primarily provides legal services to the largest-scale commercial transactions, bond and securities issues, divestitures, joint ventures and M&A. There’s obviously an imperative to avoid litigation, or situations that could lead to the potential for litigation. CNOOC considers a huge number of opportunities, so we get exposed to many potentially high-profile deals, but we only look at about 5% of all the opportunities we’re offered seriously. Continue reading “In-house life – Leslie Zhang Cnooc”

Learning how to be good from the ‘bad’ guys

Once upon a time in New Mexico, there was a lawyer who was really, really good, or really, really bad, depending on your view of things. His name – or, at least, one of his aliases – was Saul Goodman, and he worked very hard for his clients to help them grow a small start-up into a business empire using the raw ingredients of over-the-counter medicine, stolen lab equipment, a dying chemist and a young punk with a memorable way with a swear word. Continue reading “Learning how to be good from the ‘bad’ guys”

From client to colleague: the John Lewis partnership

It’s mid-December when I pay a visit to John Lewis, and as I’m waiting in the foyer of the aptly named Partnership House, I notice that most head office staff are sporting Christmas jumpers. When senior commercial lawyer Amy Holt arrives to greet me, she too is decked out in festive knitwear – putting paid to any notions of stuffiness in the retail chain’s commercial legal team.

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The 5-minute financial analyst: financial markets

Debt and equity are the two options a company has when choosing how to finance itself. In debt financing, the business borrows money in some form without giving the lender any ownership rights in the company. The company issues bonds which can be bought and sold in the same way as shares. Unlike a share, which is equity in the business, a bond is essentially a loan with a fixed rate of interest.

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The company man

“Does the company lawyer hold a job or does he practise a profession?”

This is a question posed by Jacques Barthélémy of Cabinet Barthélémy Avocats in Paris. He is writing in the 2014 European Company Lawyers Association [ECLA] white paper, which calls for all in-house lawyers in Europe to be recognised as independent professionals – and afforded the legal privilege enjoyed by their peers in private practice.

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