Dealmaker: A&O's Philip Jarvis on drunken counterparties, criminal enterprises and cranberries
A&O's insurance group head reflects on past escapades, deal highlights and corporate jargon
Allen & Overy City insurance M&A partner Philip Jarvis leads the magic circle firm’s insurance group. Recent deal highlights include, in 2017, advising German insurance giant Allianz on a joint venture deal with LV=.
Previously, he also acted for Aviva on its £5.6bn all-share acquisition of life insurance specialist Friends Life in 2014.
Why did you become a lawyer? A desire for revenge.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career? My partners and my team. Lawyering is a team sport.
What has been the standout deal you’ve worked on in 2017 and why? We worked in a multi-disciplinary team with a client to develop and execute a new high-value deal structure, in a competitive situation and very quickly. Innovating to make a difference is why we live the way we do.
What’s your proudest professional moment? It will be seeing my team-mate Kate McInerney become a partner in the firm.
…and worst day on the job? The time a drunk counterparty insisted on completing a negotiation in song.
Aside from your own firm, which lawyer do you most admire and why? They are fictional.
What’s your strongest characteristic…and worst trait? I have been judgmental.
What advice would you give to young deal lawyers starting out? Live with people who are better than you.
What’s the best part of your job? My people.
What most annoys you about the legal profession? Lack of perspective.
What’s the most unusual/shocking request you’ve ever had from a client? Ha, ha, ha.
Most memorable deal you ever have worked on and why? The one where the target turned out to be a criminal enterprise.
What is the daftest bit of corporate jargon you’ve heard (and did you smirk)? “That smells like cranberries to me Steve.”
Do you see yourself having a career outside law? Oh yes, nothing is forever.
What’s your favourite item of clothing? My umbrella.
It’s midnight and you’re in the office for the night, where’s your takeaway from? Leon.
What are your desert island discs? Changes by the day. Currently, anything by Nick Cave and Lucinda Williams.
Favourite boxset? Breaking Bad.
What’s your favourite cheese? English.
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