I practiced corporate law for 6 years, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital transactions. I spent the first five years of my career at Latham & Watkins, spending time in Chicago, Hong Kong and a short stint in Houston, and one year at Vedder Price in Chicago. At Latham, I was unassigned for the first two years and worked predominantly on corporate and finance transactions. After moving to Hong Kong, I started to focus more on international private equity deals, emerging market venture capital transactions, and cross-border merger and acquisitions. At Vedder, I focused on smaller-sized mergers and acquisitions and private equity and venture capital transactions. With VestedWorld, I now focus on sourcing, evaluating, and structuring venture capital investments in early stage companies in traditionally underserved markets around the world – a role that utilizes the skills I used as a lawyer to conduct due diligence, spot potential issues, and creatively structure deals in challenging legal environments.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
The biggest change in my practice over the past few years has been the size of the transactions. In the next few years, through VestedWord, I plan on building a reputation as a smart investor who works with portfolio companies to add value and help our investors achieve competitive returns.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
Focus. Focus on: (1) the task at hand and doing it well, (2) the details, (3) mastering the forms and precedents that are used in your practice area (if applicable), (4) improving your knowledge of substantive areas of the law, (5) improving your drafting skills, (6) building relationships with your colleagues, former classmates, peers at other firms, and clients, and (6) figuring out what you ultimately want out of your career. Whether you want to become a partner, a judge, a prosecutor, an in-house attorney or do something outside of the law, focusing on those things will set you up for success.
What is the one technological device you could not function without daily?
The piece of technology that I couldn’t function without daily is the internet. Although it’s not necessarily a device, the ability to access the internet is the key feature I need on each device I use and it’s critical to our ability to run the VestedWorld platform, communicate with investors, businesses, and other partners, and evaluate new business opportunities.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
The legal community and the professional community at large are both extremely small. Social media and networking sites make those communities seem even smaller and allows each individual to easily find the connections they share with the people they encounter. Therefore, your reputation is an asset that potential clients, colleagues, business partners, etc. can easily assess.
I once worked on a transaction where our client acquired a company. Throughout the transaction, even though there were times when the negotiations and other encounters with opposing counsel got heated, all the members of our team made sure that we were courteous to and respectful of the company’s management team and opposing counsel. After the deal was completed, our client gave the management team the authority to choose the firm that would serve as the company’s outside counsel moving forward. Although we were more expensive than other firms that they considered, including the firm that had represented the company for several decades, the management team told us that they decided to retain our firm as their outside counsel in part because of the way that we conducted ourselves during the transaction and based on recommendations from mutual contacts that we shared on LinkedIn.
Some lawyers think that being a strong advocate for your client requires you to adapt a take no prisoners approach to your interactions with opposing counsel and business teams. I strongly believe that being civil and reasonable with all parties that you interact with allows you to be a stronger advocate for your clients because you’re more likely to achieve the outcomes that are truly important to them.
What do you do for fun?
I love: to travel internationally (with my wife and with friends), learning about new cultures, cycling, skiing, and playing squash and soccer. Working on building VestedWorld has also been a lot of fun because I’m working on something that I’ve been passionate about for a very long time.
Euler Bropleh is the Founder of VestedWorld and co-founder and Managing Director of Athari Capital, an investment company focused on small and medium-sized entities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Bropleh is a Sonny Carter Scholar (Emory University), Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholar (University of St. Andrews, Scotland) and a Donald E. Egan Scholar (University of Chicago Law School). Expect big things from him.