Pitch Best Young M&A Lawyer 2021: Max van Merrienboer, Allen & Overy

De genomineerden maken dit jaar kans op de M&A Award voor Best Young M&A Lawyer 2021.

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Company: Allen & Overy  
Job Description: Senior Associate 
Age: 32

What are the specialties of this talent? 
He advises on sell and buy-side private (auction) disposals and acquisitions, joint ventures, buy-outs and equity incentive plans.  
Highlights of his work in the past years include advising:  

  • Anbang (currently Dajia Insurance Group) on the sale of the DoubleTree by Hilton at Amsterdam Central Station to AXA Investment Managers 
  • Euronext, ABN AMRO Clearing Investments, Nasdaq and DTCC on the sale of EuroCCP to Cboe Global Markets 
  • Bencis Capital Partners on various acquisitions (amongst others acquisition of Fit For Free, the sale of PitPoint and the sale of Voogd & Voogd) 
  • First Dutch Innovations in the sale of Triskelion and NMi Certin to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners 
  • Equistone Partners in relation to the acquisition of Kusters 
  • LouwersHanique on the sale of its shares to Muon 
  • First Dutch Innovations on the sale of TASS International to Siemens 
  • The HeadFirst Group on the sale of its shares to Kartesia 
  • Various energy related M&A transactions, including: the sale of Windpark Wieringermeer, the acquisition of a Dutch solar panel park and the sale of Windpark Koegorspolder 

How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers? 
Max is exceptionally hands-on. No matter how complex a transaction is, Max always maintains oversight and makes sure he is extremely well informed about everything that goes on at different levels. He has an eye for detail, but at the same time knows how to distinguish between main and side issues. He stands out because of his ability to identify what is important and where his attention should be focused at which moment on a micro and macro level. His expertise goes beyond just being a great lawyer. His excellent understanding of non-legal matters (he also studied economics in addition to law) and his resulting commercial insight is well noticed and appreciated by clients. Max was seconded to our office in Singapore in 2020, where he worked during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. He managed to build new relationships and benefitted from new experiences, showing real resilience in difficult times. 
What impact does the talent have within the organization? 
For Max, it is matter of course to transfer his knowledge to juniors within the organization. Sometimes through training or courses, but mainly on the job, in a pleasant and constructive way. Max really takes the time to explain things to the people he works with. In doing so, he not only shares his experience, but also his attention to the commercial rationale and his love for the profession. The juniors who work with him on a case learn a lot – in several areas.  

Max has been very active in the Dutch National Lawyers Football Team for many years, where he won the world title for the second time last September in Portugal.  
In addition to his active role in the national team, Max is one of the driving forces in the Allen & Overy football team as well. He puts inclusiveness first: every player is welcome to join the team and can count on Max's enthusiasm, friendship and fanaticism. Max is therefore an important pillar within our organisation, both social and sportive. 
What impact does the talent have outside the organization? 
The great thing about Max is that as a (corporate M&A) lawyer he has strong drive and vision on how he wants to make an impact. He works hard and puts the interests of clients above all else but not because that is expected of him or because that is expected by the environment he works in. Max does what he does because he truly likes what he does and working together with his clients. He finds his work is important not because other people think it is important. He walks his own path and is an independent thinker, and is not actively pursuing to demonstrate the status of his (future) position. That makes Max a pleasant person who is a valuable example for the M&A profession both inside and outside the organization. In addition, due to his many years (and successful!) participation in the Dutch Lawyers Football Team, he is a connecting factor between different law firms and colleagues with diverse expertise. 
To what extent does the talent make the difference to clients? 
Max is seen by clients as an equal partner, from whom they can expect not only excellent legal advice but with whom they can also level with from a commercial perspective. This often starts at the first meeting with clients where Max tries to interpret the case and the context with sharp, substantive questions. Max does not only think as a lawyer but also as a commercial advisor: he is always looking for the answer to the question 'what keeps the client awake at night' whether this is a legal issue or not. As a result, he is able to serve clients at different levels. Clients simply know: if we have a question, we have to call Max. 
Why does the talent deserve this nomination? 
Max is an extremely capable M&A lawyer, who stands out for his thorough knowledge of the business, his commercial understanding, his sympathetic character and his genuine enthusiasm for his profession and his clients. We warmly encourage him with this nomination to further develop the unique combination of his qualities in his undoubtedly impactful career. Exactly because he is not out for recognition himself, we think Max van Merrienboer deserves the award for Best Young Talent 2021. 

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