Global Excellence Awards 2018

Acquisition International - Global Excellence Awards 2018 145 46 Acquisition International - Issue 8 2018 Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP is a full-service law firm headquartered in New York City. The firm’s merger and acquisition practice counsels both public and private buyers and sellers in a variety of transactions, including mergers, stock and asset transactions, recapitalisations and more. Corporate partner Charles A. Damato, who was honoured as the 2018 New York Leading Advisor in M&A Law, provides insight on his role and the award-winning law firm. ith an extensive background in general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, commodities, litigation and bankruptcy, including assisting the firm’s litigation department on the corporate aspects of the Madoff bankruptcy case, Charles Damato possesses a rare ability to see M&A from many angles. His experience is the culmination of many years of working with international and domestic clients on routine, as well as complex transactions and cases. Founded in the 1830’s, Windels Marx and its corporate/M&A practice has grown into a team that now offers a diverse array of sophisticated legal services on par with much larger AmLaw firms, while simultaneously offering the partner- level attention and budget-friendly rates characteristic of boutique firms. Below Charles highlights what’s hot and where it’s heating up in his practice and the industry generally. “Much of my work focuses on mergers and acquisitions and commodities law and transactions. One of my longest standing relationships and largest clients is with one of the world’s leading international commodities trade houses headquartered in Europe. Our dealings take us to Latin America, Africa, India, China, and beyond.” While Charles’ experience is impressive, he’s also had years of developing a successful approach when it comes to working with new and existing clients and working to ensure the best outcome. “I pride myself on getting to know and understand the client. What makes them tick? What are their short-term and long-term objectives and their general approach to a negotiation? Understanding your client and being up to date on the state of the law and business trends within the client’s industry are among of the most critical factors to a successful client relationship and outcome. The best way to effectively counsel clients and at the same time expand one’s client base, is by remaining nimble and delivering consistency - of quality and practice diversity, within budget-friendly fee structures.” The Windels M&A team leverages a broad spectrum of subject matter expertise to ensure no stone remains unturned. Charles also tactically utilises his litigation background to try to foresee potential litigation scenarios. He began his career as a litigator and brings a unique life-cycle approach to M&A deals. While his experience as a Company: Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP Name: Charles A. Damato, Partner Web Address: Address: 156 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019 Telephone: 212 237 1060 NewYork Law Firm is Hot inM&A, Commodities Transactions andMore W 1808AI60 litigator has given him the advantage of picturing court outcomes before they may happen, and thus avoid potential pitfalls, he maintains a constructive and patient approach which generally produces constructive dialogue and ultimately a positive outcome. Charles sees a number of significant developments in the corporate arena generally and commodities finance in particular. “Of course we have yet to see the full impact of the recent changes in US tax law in the M&A world. We are, however, seeing a potential for a tightening of credit among those lending to commodity companies. This has been prompted by the massive fraud and borrowing abuses seen in a recent widely publicised bankruptcy case in which myself and the firm are currently representing the Court appointed Trustee involving a commodities trade house that defrauded its syndicated lenders, resulting in approximately $400mil of losses. This experience could reshape the way lenders look at commodities companies in terms of risk and borrowing base composition and advance rates. In addition, companies are now becoming more focused on “sustainability.” In an effort to lessen child labour and other work place abuses around the world, US Customs regulations were recently put in place which require US companies to take steps to ensure that the goods they import into the US were not produced by workers in violation of international labour standards. Many companies are wrestling with what types of diligence programs they can put in place in these many far away disadvantaged countries to discharge this heightened responsibility.” Looking ahead, Charles reflects other aspects of the practice that are ripe for expansion. “Being members of Geneva Group International (GGI), we’ve been introduced to many great opportunities around the world by our member law firms, accounting firms and banking firms. GGI is gathering its member firms in Argentina this October, and we are looking forward to sharing what we are seeing in M&A and commodities, among other things.” Charles concludes: “In a price-sensitive, crowded marketplace, mid-sized law firms continue to be a smart, strategic choice for companies focused on M&A. Thank you, AI Global, for recognising our work.”