From John DeGroote’s Settlement Perspectives
As I write this I’m on yet another plane ride, but this one’s different. I’m flying home following some of the most intense, important negotiations I’ll ever be a part of. This isn’t a post about the details of our negotiations, since it’ll never be appropriate to write about most of those. Today I write simply to ask for your patience, because I won’t be posting much for the next month or two.
In case you haven’t heard, my company, BearingPoint, Inc., reached an agreement in principle with its senior secured lenders to restructure the Company’s debt on Wednesday. The Company’s press release with further details can be found here and the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the story can be found here, but the high points are:
While a more complete discussion of the Company’s history, its situation and the plan going forward can be found in the attached declaration, the important point is that we have reached an agreement that provides a clear path for the Company’s 15,000+ employees, its clients and its creditors.
This site is about how to “get your deal done” in a number of contexts, and over the past few weeks I have seen a team at work around the clock to do just that. From Marcia Goldstein, who leads our team and is no stranger to the blogosphere, to Alfredo Perez (who hasn’t escaped the the Law Blog’s notice, either) to AlixPartners’ Ken Hiltz, who serves as our CFO and has clearly done this before, to rising star Ronit Berkovich, I have watched some of the best in the business in front of an overworked speakerphone morning, noon and night for days on end to get a deal done.
During these negotiations I saw the same lessons in play that every lawyer should know, from the fact that you can’t “Just Send Them a Message” to lessons in Trust and Managing Expectations and The Most Important Word in Negotiation — not to mention The Sid Hill Rule. It’s good to know that the fundamentals apply no matter how much is at stake.
Someday it’ll be nice to take a deep breath, reflect on this experience, and go from there. But for now, I’m mindful of what one smart client told me years ago: “Time kills deals.” Therefore, please indulge me for the next month or two as we work night and day to close our deal on the accelerated basis that our people, our clients and our creditors deserve.
I believe you’ll be glad you did.
Terry Wakeen describes what makes a mediator successful or a mediaton practice a success: having a genuine interest in people, being a good communicator, and marketing techniques.By Teresa Wakeen