Hein Visser

What were you doing before the MCL?

Upon completion of commerce and law degrees at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, I undertook articles of clerkship at DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (member of the DLA Piper Group) in Cape Town. I was involved in a wide range of transactional and advisory work, specifically in the firm’s corporate and commercial, competition and dispute resolution departments. In particular, working directly with the regional co-managing partner in his corporate practice gave me first-rate domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions experience, which undoubtedly underlined the importance of understanding not only diverse areas of law but also exogenous factors that impact upon transactions. This informed my interest in enrolling for the MCL.

What were your impressions of the MCL?

The practicality of the MCL degree and its wide-ranging emphasis on real-life transactional considerations, such as tax, finance, accounting and corporate governance, sets it apart from other legal courses. Most notably, the Deals Course provides an ideal platform for junior to mid-level lawyers to burnish their analytical skills and improve their understanding of a spectrum of transactions, including public mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint venture investments and restructurings. I specifically found the focus placed on European mergers and acquisitions trends, diverse acquisition structures and risk allocation tools such as warranties, indemnities and payment mechanisms to be very useful and valued by law firm partners.

Moreover, the MCL's structure allows candidates to tailor the course to their specific needs. Personally, I found the corporate governance and corporate taxation modules to be particularly exemplary as the professors not only compared and contrasted legal positions of major world players such as the UK, Germany and the US, but also encouraged students to delve into policy questions behind each country’s regulatory regime. The course further highlighted the need for a holistic approach, commercial awareness and critical analysis skills to truly appreciate and exceed client objectives.

What are your post-MCL plans and have they changed due to taking the MCL?

I have accepted an offer to join the London office of US law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where I will be working in the firm's corporate group. My first six months will see me practice in the Banking and Finance department assisting on a range of financial transactions pertaining to private equity deals, whereafter I will join the Private Equity group.