Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Role of Lawyer as Negotiator

Furthering HNMCP’s mission of bridging theory and practice, HNMCP Clinical Instructor Jeremy McClane ’02 delivered a presentation on negotiation skills and theory at the ABA Section of International Law fall meeting in Dublin, Ireland in October. Attendees included high-level practitioners from global law firms as well as individual practitioners with international practices, corporate and government lawyers, and academics.

Jeremy presented on the “Role of Lawyer as Negotiator” panel. In his talk he spoke about the challenges that lawyers face creating deals for their clients that take advantage of opportunities for value creation. His talk focused on the traditional conception of a lawyer’s duties in which some practitioners become trapped, but which ultimately sabotage their ability to get the best deal for their clients. Jeremy discussed different moves negotiators can make to improve their negotiations, and facilitated a lively discussion following a simulated negotiation involving high level members of the section.

Participants at the conference found the topic highly relevant, as most of them engage in complex cross-border negotiations on a regular basis. Consequently the panel and ensuing discussion were well received. “Jeremy did a great job in presenting the material” said Jeff Kerbel, co-chair of the panel, partner of Bennett Jones LLP, and vice-chair of the International M&A and Joint Venture Committee of the Section of International Law. A number of people came up to me during the conference indicating how useful they found the panel and Jeremy’s presentation and even asking whether there would be a sequel. I have never seen that before at an ABA meeting.”

Following this initial presentation, HNMCP and the American Bar Association hope to continue their collaboration to assist each other in developing both theory and practice in international negotiation.