My Herrick Story: Benjamin P. Oklan
Benjamin P. Oklan | email@example.com | 212 592 1527
What was it about Herrick that enticed you to join the firm?
I came to Herrick primarily because I was looking for a platform to branch out into a wider array of transactional work. I am the type of person that thrives on learning, and I need new challenges to feel fulfilled professionally. Coming from a small boutique tax firm, my practice had become limited to REIT compliance and private real estate development transactions. I was excited by the opportunity to work with attorneys in different departments and across the multitude of practice areas that Herrick offers.
My move to Herrick has far exceeded my professional expectations. The transactions I have worked on here have broadened my experience to now include, among other things, securities offerings, sophisticated cross-border REIT structurings, mergers and acquisitions and fund formations across business sectors such as private equity, healthcare, professional sports, and commercial lending.
How is Herrick unlike other firms?
What’s unique about Herrick is the way the firm has encouraged me to be entrepreneurial with my practice. Herrick has given me the space and resources to build my knowledge base in the areas of tax law that most interest me. For example, ever since I worked in the Alternative Investments Group at Salomon Smith Barney during and immediately after college, I’ve been interested in private equity and hedge funds. Herrick has empowered me to build my competency in the taxation of funds from both external CLE trainings and the guidance of senior attorneys at the firm about the practical realities of fund formation transactions.
The other thing that’s unique about Herrick is how it’s challenged me to expand my transactional skills by providing opportunities to gain hands on experience. Within a few months of joining Herrick, Louis Tuchman brought me in to work on a deal that eventually became a partial equity rollover of an upper tier partnership interest that was made in conjunction with the sale of a senior living facility owned by a lower tier entity. Even though I was not familiar with this transaction structure, Louis showed me how the transaction utilized substantive knowledge and skills that I had previously learned. Over the course of the transaction, Louis gave me opportunities to take the lead in creating, structuring and implementing the transaction. By the closing, I had developed enough confidence and competency that I guided corporate attorneys at two other firms in the implementation of the final transaction structure.
How is Herrick supporting you in your professional growth and development?
In addition to helping me build my substantive tax knowledge, Herrick has been great at helping me develop the soft skills necessary to advance my career. I’ve received wonderful mentorship not only from the senior attorneys in the tax department, but also the senior attorneys in the corporate and real estate departments who have been tremendously willing to provide professional advice and feedback. For example, I had been encouraged to take more of a leadership role in providing training on substantive tax topics to the rest of the firm. I recently gave my first CLE on the taxation of REITs and I am planning a future CLE on partnership tax.
Herrick’s Business Development Spotlight Series has also been a great professional development resource. My prior firms didn’t provide any guidance on marketing and business development, so the idea of developing client relationships was daunting. Through the Spotlight Series, I have been able to pick up tips and practices from a wide array of senior attorneys at the firm and integrate them into my own practice. It has helped me develop and strengthen my professional relationships, and I’ve even started bringing clients to the firm.
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