With all the transactions Patrick Goebel has handled in his lengthy career, he has managed to amass a trove of wisdom to pass on to less-experienced lawyers.
Goebel, a senior partner in Quarles & Brady’s Business Law practice group, has nearly 40 years of experience. What’s more, he has established himself as a leader with a proven track record of helping clients meet their goals in business transactions.
So it is no surprise that, when asked what lessons he tries to pass on to the younger colleagues he teams up with on multi-million-dollar transactions, Goebel can rattle off a laundry list.
“One of the things I tell them is try to anticipate the needs of the client and don’t just react to what the client brings to you,” he said.
A client, for instance, might be looking to find the perfect buyer for a business that was built from the ground up. A person in that situation will no doubt have a very specific idea in mind about how the transaction should turn out.
When representing a client of this sort, lawyers should be certain to make the most of experiences they’ve gained from working on similar cases. Also important is to mention any relevant developments in the law.
More than many, Goebel has a deep well to draw from when it comes to providing these perspectives to clients. Throughout his career he has helped negotiate more than 150 successful client transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, ranging in value from $10 million to more than $700 million.
A client trying to sell a business will often prefer to find a buyer who will retain employees and continue operations in the same place.
“Many of these businesses are owned by people who’ve owned them for years, and they have a very strong loyalty to the community and their employees,” Goebel said.
Another lessen Goebel tries to instill in younger lawyers is that they shouldn’t stick to one rigid approach.
“They should strive to be known as a dealmaker, not a deal-breaker,” he said.
And it never hurts to remind them of the simpler things, such as the importance of listening and saying “thank you.”
Goebel said he knows the value of mentors largely because he has benefited from having some good ones.
They include Roger Minahan, Pat Ryan and Gerry Connolly, who were all influential lawyers in his life and served as role models. In addition, Goebel said his wife, Mary, has “provided tremendous support to me in my career.”