Friday, December 30, 2005

Abused Donut

It's part of my job to get abused. They should really include this as a course module. Accepting Abuse 101. And for the sick puppies out there, Enjoying Abuse 101.

Since I started working, I've been described, more often by the other side's representatives or their legal counsel, as inflexible, non-commercial minded, inexperienced, out of my depth, unknowledgeable, irascible and, I suspect in the privacy of their own minds, I've probably been called A Mad Bitch more times than I care to think about.

Big deal. If I took all this to heart, I'd probably have quit long ago. Or shot myself in the head. Twice.

Just received what looks to be my last round of abuse for 2005. If the transaction doesn't close tomorrow as scheduled, then I'll get my first dose of abuse for 2006 sometime Tuesday onwards.

It's a very simple transaction. Man wants to sell all his shares in a private company and to resign as its director. Company is being run into the ground by the other directors (which prompted the sale). Man has previously signed numerous personal guarantees to financiers of the private company. I told Man. Hang on to your directorship and your shares until the personal guarantees have all been completely discharged. That way, you've still got some control in the Company, you have legal rights to all sorts of Company information, don't give up your bargaining chips until you've got what you want. You are also the sole breadwinner of your family. Don't forget that your wife and 4 children are depending on you. If you kena sue by the Bank for the personal guarantees you will become a bankrupt because it's too much money. Then how are you going to look after your family?

Ok, says my poor beleaguered client. And he relays exactly that to the buyer of his shares, also a director of the Company.

WHAT? Says the buyer. WHAT KIND OF STUPID REQUEST IS THAT? Your lawyer is not being commercially sensible. Tell your lawyer to call me.

Why are you trying to complicate things, says the buyer to me when I call him. What kind of lawyer are you? Don't you know this is a small deal? This is not a multi-million dollar deal. You don't have to make it so complicated. I think you have not worked on big deals before.

We're not making it complicated. We only have one condition. If you start talking to the banks now, we can get this wrapped up quickly. Also, the deal is small just because the amount of money you are offering to pay for the shares is small. But the personal guarantees are worth millions of dollars to the Bank. So it is not a small deal. It is a very big deal to my client. He does not have money to pay the Bank if he is sued on his personal guarantees.

Click! At least you can't slam down a mobile phone. Unless you're an eejit.

Client later told me the seller called him and said I'm the worst lawyer he's ever met. Also the most inflexible (ka-ching!).

So I should be so flexible that everything also can lah, I said to the client. Then you pay me for what.

It's such a cheap shot. Separate the client from his legal adviser by abusing the legal adviser and saying he/ she's stupid, inexperienced, whatever. Then threaten to call the deal off unless the client makes the right "commercial decision". Which, just blow me, happens to be the commercial decisions most favourable to the other side. Feh.

17 Comments:

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Fore! said...

Poor you. It's just the opposite in litigation - when the other side calls my client and says I am a pain in their butt, my client thanks me for making their life miserable!

By the way, not many people shoot themselves in the head twice. Normally one shot does the trick unless (a) you've got really bad aim; or (b) your brain isn't as vital to your survival as you think.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

Nigella! You're so evil. Are you by any chance referring to ADELE in (b) above?

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Fore! said...

We don't name names in my (cook) book. I haven't met up with A in a long time. Not sure if I should given that it's likely to be a painful experience.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

Please please please. Although I only met her once, she made such a great impression that I think I actually miss her.

You'll have to be there of course. I don't think Adele goes to the Other Church, if you get my drift, so she won't agree to go out with me alone.

 
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