Back in early March, students Keith Kelly (J.D. ’18), Danielle Wallace (J.D. ’18) and Jennifer Cacchio (J.D. ’19) won the regional round of the Ninth Annual Transactional LawMeet Competition. On April 6, they competed and won both best negotiation and best draft on the Buyer’s Side in the national competition in New York City.
The team was coached primarily by Professor Del Wright, with co-coaching by Adjunct Professor (and alumnus) Kyle Conroy. Ralph Wrobley, a Mergers and Acquisitions attorney and great friend of the law school, and Professor Tony Luppino also served as coaches and provided feedback for the students’ practice rounds. The UMKC School of Law student team ofJoey Harris (J.D. ’19), Andrew Potter (J.D. ’18) and Sarah Smith (J.D. ’19), which had won Buyer’s Side Best Draft in the regionals in Utah, also contributed to this success by playing the role of Seller’s counsel in practice rounds.
The Transactional LawMeet Competition engages students in a complex hypothetical transaction involving a merger or acquisition of a business. Ninety-six different law schools participated in this year’s competition. Students must interview clients, plan and draft purchase agreements, and negotiate the final transaction. The student teams represented either the buyers or sellers of the business. The competition results in two categories of awards for each side (sellers and buyers). Competition judges included partners from leading law firms, corporate general counsels, and other senior practitioners. The final competition was held at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City.
In the fictional scenario, the UMKC team represented a Chinese buyer of an American software company. Their goal was to negotiate a $2.25 billion dollar purchase deal. In the regionals, the team had internal deadlines as they approached the competition date: the team drafted a purchase agreement, conducted two client interviews and marked up one of the opposing team’s drafts. The team marked up the draft to reflect the client’s needs and ensure the deal happened. Then, on February 23, 96 teams negotiated a resolution (split between buyers and sellers). Two teams from each region – one buyer and one seller – were chosen to compete in nationals.
By the time the finals rolled around, the UMKC team had conducted new client interviews, refined the current agreement and red-lined another team’s draft based on the information from the regional rounds.
“It’s been a lot of work over the past 3-4 months,” Kelly said, “but it’s all paid off. We’re thrilled with the results and the opportunity to compete. I’ve learned so much during this process and am immensely grateful.”