Fenwick & West corporate partner Greg Roussel was profiled by Law360 as part of its “Dealmakers” Q&A series.
R. Gregory Roussel, a partner at Fenwick & West LLP, concentrates his practice on mergers, acquisitions and other strategic transactions involving technology companies. He has extensive experience with clients in the social networking, software, electronic game, and mobile application sectors. Roussel also counsels companies on corporate governance matters and takeover defenses.
As a participant in Law360's Q&A series with dealmaking movers and shakers, Greg Roussel shared his perspective on five questions:
Q: What’s the most challenging deal you’ve worked on, and why?
A: The sale of a majority stake of Supercell to Softbank for $1.5 billion last year was the most challenging. The transaction had elements of an acquisition, an investment and a joint venture all rolled into one, and required a multiparty negotiation across three continents/time zones. It required a lot of creativity and problem-solving for a business in an industry that I really like being involved in. Those deals are the most fun.
Q: What aspects of regulation affecting your practice are in need of reform, and why?
A: I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy negotiating the risk allocation for potential frivolous infringement claims created by our broken patent system.
Q: What upcoming trends or under-the-radar areas of deal activity do you anticipate, and why?
A: The continued tension between consolidation by the major players and the innovation of new startups will continue to drive a lot of deal activity in the tech sector. It may be hard to characterize some of the recent larger deals as under the radar, but I think we are still at the beginning of the cycle and there is a lot more to come.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring dealmaker?
A: Listen — both to opposing counsel and the client. Frequently, the underlying issue to be solved is not always apparent or as described or perceived. If you take the time to listen, you can frequently find a better outcome for all the parties involved.
Q: Outside your firm, name a dealmaker who has impressed you, and tell us why.
A: I have worked with Alon Sahar at Meitar in Tel Aviv on many transactions, both opposite him and on the same side of the table. He's not just well-respected as a savvy dealmaker — he also has a great sense of the underlying tensions with the personalities involved and their objectives. This is invaluable when working on cross-border (and cross-cultural) transactions.