February 25, 2009
What does an M&A lawyer do when most of Canada's leading companies have already been acquired?
Move to New York City.
This is what Phil Brown is doing in July to take up a new post as head of the law firm's reinvented New York office.
Today, Canadian dealmakers such as Phil face a grim landscape where only a handful of domestic companies have the money or scale to be buyers in the great global garage sale of distressed corporate assets. Against this backdrop, Phil is moving to New York to target Canadian companies with U.S. assets or foreign buyers in countries such as China and Russia.
Phil has been busy building his international client base, and his work paid off this week when his two-month client, Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co., unveiled an agreement to acquire NOVA Chemicals for US$2.3 billion.
In New York, Phil will steer an office that has repositioned itself as a cross-border shop that offers Canadian and U.S. advice to clients in sectors such as media, biotechology and finance.