We ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career.
This time: John W Mann from K&L Gates.
Which firm are you with?
When did you join that firm?
I joined Middletons in 1988 as an articled clerk. Middletons merged with K&L Gates on 1 January 2013.
When were you made a partner of that firm?
I was made a partner of our firm in 1995 and will celebrate 20 years of partnership next year.
Which firm were you at most recently?
I have been with K&L Gates (and its predecessor firm, Middletons) for my entire career.
What practice group are you with?
I am in the corporate and transactional practice area and work in our mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice groups.
What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?
The most significant change to my practice area has been the establishment and growth of private equity into a standalone industry within the M&A market. Private equity has fundamentally changed the M&A market and M&A legal practice. It has provided a new and different source of growth capital outside of the traditional debt and equity markets. Private equity has been at the forefront of many changes to M&A law and practice. It has driven asset prices, re-set risk parameters and introduced new and creative ways of facilitating deals such as warranty and indemnity insurance and locked-box closing mechanisms.
What has been a major highlight for you?
There have been many career highlights for me. Each deal completed is memorable in its own way. I have been part of many mergers, culminating in our recent combination with global law firm, K&L Gates. This is, without doubt, one of the most exciting developments in our firm's history. We are now part of a fully financially integrated global law firm. I have held many positions within our firm including Board Member, Head of M&A, a founding member of our Pro Bono Committee, a founding member of CSR Committee, a member of our Opinions Committee and so on. There have been awards and many milestones on the way. Ultimately, however, I think the major highlight in my career has been people I have worked with: my partners, my team, my clients and other members of the profession. Many of whom I now count as good friends.
What do you like about being a lawyer?
As a lawyer, and in particular a transaction lawyer, there is never a dull moment. It is a very fast paced, stimulating and demanding profession. I strongly believe, as lawyers, we have a very privileged life and, accordingly, we have a duty to put back into the profession and into the community.
What do you find challenging?
My greatest challenge is time. As lawyers, we always seem to be time poor, constantly striving to provide the highest quality and service and deliver the best value to our clients while maintaining a rewarding work/life balance.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love spending time with my family. My wife Tina, and my two young children Thomas and Grace. I run, ride, and try to get to the gym a couple of times a week. I love modern and contemporary art, travel, reading and music. More recently, I have taken up kite boarding for a bit of fun.