Matthew Simpson came to an unexpected realization after advising the Darfur delegation in peace negotiations with the government of Sudan, he said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast. “My job was to coordinate and be a strategic adviser to the Darfuri leadership, and I realized I really enjoyed dealmaking and liked that quarterback role.”
Simpson had worked as an international trade lawyer before he shifted to working on the Darfur peace talks, but he concluded that he wanted to be a deal lawyer. After a stint working on large private equity deals for Canadian clients at Torys LLP in New York, he moved to Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC in Washington. Simpson’s assistant at Torys had worked for Susan Bersan, who manages Mintz’s Washington office, and told him he should meet Berson, who “understood my nonlinear career path,” Simpson said.
He joined Mintz in 2014 and is now a partner at the firm, where he advises a range of clients with a focus on middle-market private equity, which he finds “a completely different beast because you’re dealing with real people” who are selling businesses that they or their families have often built. Simpson also advises providers of representations and warranties insurance, which gives him a different perspective on middle-market private equity.
“Every deal I’ve seen can get done,” he said, though not every one has. “It just depends on your risk tolerances and how you allocate them. My job is to help people think through those risks.”
Here’s the podcast: