The Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and UCLA School of Law brought a dozen teams of law students from around the region together on March 1 for the inaugural UCLA Transactional Law Competition. The event was the culmination of a six-week simulation that allowed students to hone their business negotiation and writing skills before a group of expert judges.
Each team worked on a simulated merger-and-acquisition transaction. The teams drafted agreements, exchanged drafts, provided markup comments and then squared off in two rounds of negotiations.
Teams from UCLA School of Law won Best Draft, Best Negotiation and Best Overall Performance for the buyer's side of the transaction. On the seller's side, University of San Diego School of Law won for Best Draft; UC Davis won for Best Negotiation and tied for Best Overall Performance with UC Berkley School of Law. Teams from Loyola School of Law, USC Gould School of Law, UC Hastings School of Law and Duke University School of Law also competed.
UCLA Law students in the competition included Ethan Asofsky '20, Alec Lautanen '20, Adam Marx '19, Cody McDavis '19, Rachel Samec '19 and Lingxi Zhong L.LM '19.
UCLA Law and the Lowell Milken Institute launched the competition when the successful Transactional LawMeet competitions initiated by Drexel University Professor Karl Okamoto went on hiatus after the 2017 LawMeet. The institute and the school look forward to carrying the competition into the future.
The judges for the inaugural meet included experienced transactional attorneys from competition sponsors including Cooley; Fox Rothschild; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins and Sullivan & Cromwell. Competition sponsors also included Sidley Austin, Morgan Stanley and Polsinelli.
The success of the UCLA Law teams is made possible by the dedication of coaches Jeffrey Brandt '16, Tim Najera '13, Payom Pirahesh '11 and Scott Timpe '11. Najera, Pirahesh and Timpe formed UCLA Law's inaugural Transactional LawMeet team in 2011 and advanced to the national finals. Brandt was part of the national champion Transactional LawMeet team in 2016.