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The topic of the third meeting, with guest Mr. Rob Irving, partner at international law firm White & Case, was Negotiating strategies for international transactions.

In his career he has worked on negotiating projects around the world. Last 8-9 years he has focused on ‘’private equity’’.

He explained that when it comes to international transactions, you must pay attention to various factors. First, when you are negotiating, you must understand principles of different cultures and backgrounds involved in the case. Second, you must work outside the ordinary course of business, this is where advisors are involved to provide help.

Keys to negotiating an international transaction – some tips given by our guest:

· Find your own style: what works for you in the environment you work in, watch the people around you and learn from them.

· Ultimately deals are about ‘’win-win’’:

o most counterparties would rather lose everything than agree in an ‘’unfair’’ deal;

o other side must think, that they are winning;

o best deal is when both sides feel their key issues have been addressed and neither side feels 100% satisfied;

o how to achieve win-win? Establish that you are intimately familiar with market practice; explain why you may need certain provisions; it is essential to listen to the other side, even if you don’t agree with them; be proactive with compromise (his experience: show early and often that you are reasonable person); don’t lose sight that this is not a contest, but an attempt to achieve value for one’s side.

· ‘’In the heat of the battle’’:

o always be in a position to provide examples of why you need to follow a particular approach;

o don’t hesitate to call for a brake if negotiations are stuck;

o ‘’package deals’’ don’t work to some extent. Example: If you let me win in these 10 points, I’ll let you win in these 6 points, and we’ll do compromise in these 5 points, but you have to take it as a package. They don’t work, but the positive outcome can be that other side can see where the differences between the sides are. If you need to shake things up, if they last too long, first choice is to use humor and make a joke, if humor fails… pick on their advisor. But don’t use either the humor or the anger until you have established your credibility with the other side.

At the end of the lecture, as well as during, many questions were raised. That showed us that the lecture was very interesting to our young participants. They left the room with some new knowledge and advices, which will certainly come in handy one day.