Tim Peterson ’85 is a partner in corporate finance in Milbank’s London office. In 2018, he joined the advisory board for the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and returned to Rutgers Newark briefly to teach two classes in the business school and one at the journalism school. He also was a guest lecture in the law school’s Corporate Finance class taught by Professor Matteo Gatti and told students about the current state of acquisition financing. He talked about his time at Rutgers and his legal career.
Talk about your job now at Milbank and what you're doing in the legal field?
I am a partner in Milbank’s London office and work on a mixture of capital markets, finance and corporate transactions as well as some leading restructurings. My clients range from banks like Goldman Sachs who I represent in their private debt deals, to banks and companies in their equity and debt offerings to companies in a variety of M&A and commercial and finance transactions.
Talk about your journey that led to the work you're doing now.
I started at Rutgers thinking I wanted to be a corporate lawyer in New Jersey. I discovered that there were interesting transactions being done by the New York firms so I joined Fried Frank as a summer associate, then associate and eventually a partner. I have always tried my hand at new and interesting transactions. When the capital markets starting developing in Europe I came over to London to head up my firm’s efforts. Eventually I left Fried Frank and joined Milbank eight years ago. Milbank has been a fabulous home. It has been a fun journey and I keep looking for the next adventure, whether that is an interesting deal or client. Last year I helped a client, a young entrepreneur, in one of the first large scale solar projects in Jamaica. I once tried to do a bond deal for the Government of Pakistan and spend two days interviewing the entire cabinet.
What was your time like at Rutgers Law? Did any classes or experiences you had at law school contribute to your success today?
Filled with lots of fun and met some great people. I can’t say I enjoyed all the classes but certainly learned a lot and I was prepared to enter private practice after my three years. I tried to take classes with all the best professors- Professor Blum was great at giving me a background in tax. Most memorable was late Professor Schwartz who I found fabulous in his own unique way. I also will not forget my 8 am Property class with Dean Simmons- still not sure I understand the English conveyances he tried to teach me.
What advice would you have for law students looking to get into finance or transactional law?
Study. Be interested in business. Read about businesses. Get a good practical background at school and then work hard. The clients are interesting and fun to work with so on a day to day basis it is enjoyable. You get to learn about different businesses at the same time. In the end you get a completed deal which you can then look back to. This can only happen if the lawyers on both sides work together.
What is it like living and working in London?
London is a great city. It has changed so much since we came here in 1997, mostly for the better. It has become a very international city so I work with mostly Europeans and it is interesting to get their perspective on things. We are now living through Brexit and not clear where this will end up. I have had the opportunity to travel both for business and pleasure.