Pitch Best Young M&A Lawyer 2022: Thijs Verstraten, Lexence

Thijs Verstraten maakt dit jaar kans op de M&A Award voor Best Young M&A Lawyer 2022.

Company: Lexence 
Job Description: Associate 
Age: 32 

What are the specialties of this talent? 
Thijs is a key member of our dedicated M&A and private equity team headed by Luc Habets, Diederick de Boer and Kevin Beukeveld. Thijs specialises in (inter)national corporate and private equity transactions focused primarily on the mid market, both sell-side and buy-side. Thijs has been the lead senior associate in many transactions this last year, including assisting Waterland Private Equity recently acquiring a stake in De Jong and Laan Accountants (receiving a lot of media attention), assisting the Circular IT Group and Valcon with multiple (cross-border) acquisitions in connection with its buy-and-build strategy, and assisting Sofindev, a Belgian PE Fund in acquiring a stake in Dutch based Loyals. Thijs takes the lead in deals, is in control, and easily gains the trust of clients, private equity investors and other M&A-professionals. 

How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers? 
Thijs stands out for combining legal knowledge with a smooth and flawless transaction management. In addition, he has strong analytical skills and is able to handle complex and bulky matters while maintaining an overall-view. He coordinates and cooperates easily with clients and various work streams and is liked by the clients, his colleagues, peers and M&A professionals. Building on these qualities and skills, he often takes the lead in notable transactions and is already building his own client-base. 

What impact does the talent have within the organization? 
Thijs’ roots and mother tongue are in Noord Brabant and his natural empathetic style goes extremely well with a strong and very structured approach. All colleagues – from support staff to partners – like working with Thijs and he is always willing and capable to support team members when and where needed. He creates an open and safe culture where everyone can speak up their mind and he is not afraid to do so himself. Thijs regularly helps updating and improving know-how and the firm’s templates to meet the client’s changing requirements and todays’ standards. Thijs is also a teacher at the Lexence M&A Academy which was set up to “Lexenize” young associates and teach them in-house on a variety of legal, financial and operational subjects and skills relevant to M&A and private equity. 

What impact does the talent have outside the organization? 
Thijs easily connects with people of all ages and descent and is able to develop and attract (new) clients. For a couple of years, he has – with other team members – organized tailor made lectures for trusted clients of the firm on M&A related subjects . Thijs is also active beyond just client work and served as president of the Amsterdam chapter of the Young Bar Association from 2017-2019. He is also an active ambassador of the Young M&A Community and frequently visits its events. 

To what extent does the talent make the difference to clients? 
Clients appreciate Thijs’ can-do mentality and his pro-active approach. Thijs is recognized for his quality of work combined with a structured approach which also means he always delivers on time. He is able to understand the needs and desires (and sometimes emotions) of the parties involved. Due to his very focused M&A and PE practice he speaks the clients’ language. Clients like Thijs as a person, like working with him and fully trust him handling the transaction 

Why does the talent deserve this nomination? 
Despite his young age (32), Thijs is able to act at a level much senior to his age. He has matured in a short period of time and his understanding of not only legal matters is convincing and has proven decisive at numerous occasions in finding pragmatic and workable solutions. This nomination underpins Thijs’ role for young lawyers within Lexence, and is a token of our appreciation of Thijs’ hard work, combining a busy practice, with business development and successfully completing The Leergang Mergers and Acquisitions at the VU law academy (2022). 

Any references or recommendations from clients or (colleagues)? 
Thijs' nomination is shared with and supported by Joep Hendriks, senior investment manager at Waterland Private Equity and Maurice van Veggel, senior advisor at Craft Capital. 

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