Pitch Best Young M&A Lawyer 2023: Sophie Umans, NautaDutilh

De genomineerden maken dit jaar kans op de M&A Award voor Best Young M&A Lawyer 2023.

Name: Sophie Umans
Company: NautaDutilh
Job Description: Associate | Lawyer
Age: 30

What are the specialties of this talent?
Sophie is a highly talented and valued associate in NautaDutilh’s Corporate M&A practice. She is an all-round transaction lawyer, advising a variety of corporate clients and financial investors on cross-border and domestic M&A transactions.

The transactions that Sophie has recently worked on or is currently working on exemplify her excellence as an M&A lawyer:

• The combination of a.s.r.’s business activities with Aegon Nederland
• The acquisition of LeasePlan by ALD Automotive
• The acquisition of Nomios by Keensight Capital
• The acquisition of LOCATIQS by Sogelink, a portfolio company of Keensight Capital
• The sale of 2Connect by IK Partners to Rivean Capital
• The sale of CED Group by BlackFin Capital to Rivean Capital
• The sale of Dedert IJs by Lineage Logistics to Nimbus
• The acquisition of Scotch & Soda by Bluestar Alliance

How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers?
Sophie stands out for her dedication, collaborative spirit and strong problem solving, communication and negotiation skills. Always focused on results, she brings a persistent commitment to advancing clients’ interests and achieving legal success. Colleagues describe her as a driven professional who strives to go above and beyond what’s expected. With a thorough understanding of M&A dynamics, she ensures precision in every detail. She has a keen sense of identifying legal issues that require prioritization or guidance from others and communicates her insights and questions effectively and clearly. Always with a cheerful and calm demeanor, Sophie is a pleasure to work with and consistently gets the job done to a high standard, even amid a busy schedule.

“Sophie’s adeptness at managing M&A processes and her pragmatic approach are a testament to her expertise. Her technical excellence, responsiveness, and problem-solving skills add significant value to our team and are highly appreciated by both clients and colleagues alike. With Sophie on your team, be it as client or colleague, you not only know the job will get done, but that it gets done well.
” Willianne van Zandwijk, head of the Corporate M&A practice of NautaDutilh’s London office.

What impact does the talent have within the organization?
As a former top field hockey player, Sophie understands the importance of teamwork in complex M&A transactions and legal matters. She actively supports her colleagues on a personal level, ensuring that everyone feels valued as a member of the team. She genuinely appreciates each person’s unique contributions and takes the time to guide juniors, answer their questions and provide context. She also enjoys mentoring the interns by discussing their work, giving feedback and sharing helpful tips, and is actively involved in providing training to junior associates.”

“After working on several matters with Sophie, I have come to admire her pragmatic approach in complex matters. I constantly learn from the way she takes on difficult legal issues, breaks them down and resolves them in a swift manner. It is both enjoyable and inspiring to work alongside Sophie, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to learn from her.” Léon van der Slot, associate Corporate M&A at NautaDutilh

What impact does the talent have outside the organization?
Sophie brings together the expertise of different teams and serves as a trusted point of contact for both clients and colleagues. Her strong work ethic and reliability have enabled her to foster lasting relationships with clients. In addition to her various responsibilities, Sophie takes time to mentor students who are interested in pursuing a career in law or working at NautaDutilh. Her dedication to mentoring the next generation of legal professionals reflects her commitment to strengthening the legal community as a whole.

“Sophie played a key role in major deals, such as combination of a.s.r.’s business activities with Aegon Nederland, and thereby contributes to visibility of women in M&A.” Ashley Fleming, associate Corporate M&A/Finance NautaDutilh

To what extent does the talent makes the difference to clients?
With her analytical mind, Sophie can effectively tackle complex issues. Her legal knowledge, business acumen, technical expertise, thoroughness and strong work ethic ensure that she always strives to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients. In addition, Sophie’s ability to form interpersonal connections allows her to establish strong relationships with her clients, facilitating a seamless process. She possesses a keen understanding of clients’ evolving needs and deftly guides them through the complexities of M&A deals. By being approachable and committed to clear, concise communication, she ensures that her clients are well-informed and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. All in all, Sophie makes a significant difference by building understanding and trust and providing clients with a personalised approach to their needs.

“A long-standing client informed our lead partner Joost den Engelsman, that they are highly satisfied with the services provided by NautaDutilh and have a special appreciation for working with Sophie. “In addition to our congratulations to the team on the closing of the deal, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge Sophie”, they stated. “She has consistently held her ground and remained composed in all circumstances, demonstrating exceptional performance and talent.”

“Sophie’s dedication to clients and her proficiency in handling complex transactions have earned her high praise from clients. She takes the time to actively listen to their needs and concerns, ensuring client satisfaction every step of the way. Her professionalism and team-spirited attitude make working with Sophie a positive experience for all involved.” Joost Kloosterman, counsel Corporate M&A at NautaDutilh

Why does the talent deserves this nomination?
“Sophie fulfils a leading coordinating role in Private Equity deals, both in the M&A and management participation stages. Her forward focused and precise approach keeps clients well- informed and advances their needs and goals.” Olaf Baks, partner Corporate M&A at NautaDutilh

“Sophie is smart, responsive and works tirelessly to help our clients achieve their goals. At the same time, she is incredibly friendly, approachable and easy to get along with. She is great at managing different stakeholders in a process and goes above and beyond in every deal I have worked on with her. She truly embodies a top-sport mentality, and her passion for her work is evident in everything she does. It’s for these reasons that she is highly deserving of this nomination. She not only understands the needs of our clients but is thinking of creative and innovative ways to achieve the best possible outcome.” Joost den Engelsman, partner Corporate M&A/Private Equity at NautaDutilh.

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