For 15 years, Trevor Chaplick was the managing partner of, first, Wilson Sonsini's NoVa office—which he founded—then, Proskauer Rose's DC office. An M&A and PE whiz, he kept up his practice in the meantime, often calling on Greenberg Traurig's Mike Schaengold to handle the specialized government contracts issues that can make or break a deal. (Just as importantly, they also shared Wizards and Nats seasons tickets.)
Mike recently recruited Trevor to join him at Greenberg Traurig, where we snapped the two of them sitting in Trevor's office. The law firm has a very dynamic business model, Trevor says, which affords him the flexibility to work with clients of varying sizes. Its international presence in Europe, Asia and Latin America is also a plus, as his work has taken him to countries including India, England, Spain and France.
Flexibility is key to heading an office, Trevor learned from his years as a managing partner, which spanned several business cycles and the financial crisis. (Both offices he led continued to grow.) "I think firms get in trouble when they're too rigid and don't adapt to the market dynamics," he says. Being flexible from a rate perspective is something GT does very well, he adds: it allows its partners to structure the arrangements according to the deal and the client.
Trevor's recently handled the $100M Adaptimmune deal for a large fund client and finished up the third tranche of a $25M financing for a metal manufacturing startup. Thanks to a versatile practice, in upmarkets he takes on public offerings and M&A transactions; when the economy is down, he handles workouts and recapitalizations.
Not surprisingly, the government contracts connection is very useful in M&A deals that involve acquiring, spinning off or selling companies that have government contracts. "We check under every stone to make sure that there aren't some hidden problems that could devalue the deal for the acquirer or make the deal a bad business decision," Mike says; for instance, Trevor and Mike worked for a company interested in homeland security and defense work and which they assisted in acquiring more than 15 small to midsized government contractors.