Charlie Geffen shares his thoughts on joining Flint and the outlook for M&A activity in 2021

19 Jan, 2021

We interviewed Charlie Geffen who joined Flint as Senior Advisor last November to find out more about the wealth of experience he brings.

Charlie was previously Chair of the corporate practice of the US law firm Gibson Dunn in London, and prior to that Senior Partner at law firm Ashurst. During his career he has regularly advised corporates and private equity firms on their transactions and governance issues across many jurisdictions. He was ranked as one of the leading transactional lawyers in London.

Why have you decided to join Flint/What do you bring to Flint?

I first came across Flint when I was working as a transactional lawyer and was impressed by the quality of the people. I liked their analytical approach which differentiates them from others in that world and suited me better. I also wanted to use my experience working in M&A and private equity, and as a former law firm leader, to see if I could help Flint and its clients. I hugely enjoyed my time as a lawyer and was always keen to get involved in other businesses after my legal career. Flint provides new challenges and perspectives in a world with which I am familiar.   

What do you see as the broad trends in M&A activity in 2021? 

Both the pandemic and Brexit have accelerated changes that were visible before. The markets have already created opportunities for strategic buyers and private equity which remains flush with cash. Sectors will continue to consolidate with life sciences, healthcare, technology and infrastructure all being likely areas of activity. There will also be distressed situations where new ownership structures will be required as part of the process of change. The political and regulatory environment will become even more important to deal makers with the National Security and Investment Bill bringing a new political angle to M&A in the UK. By its nature the definition of national security is opaque. Understanding how the new regime will operate in practice and anticipating suitable mitigating arrangements will be critical on sensitive deals.

How have you found your time at Flint since joining?

I have loved the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of a young company that has been growing fast in the fascinating cross section between government and business. In any organisation it is the people that matter most. The quality, diversity and buzz of the team is inspiring and fun to work alongside.

Thank you very much for your time.

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