Effective negotiation is a critical lawyering skill, whether you're litigating a discovery dispute, brokering a settlement, selling a business, or closing a financing.

That's why the firm was pleased to welcome Marty Latz of Latz Negotiation, who recently led a two-day, interactive Negotiation Training Workshop for the firm's 4th-year associates. Latz has developed and taught negotiation training programs for thousands of lawyers and business professionals and has negotiated nationally and internationally as a member of the White House Advance Team.

His program for our associates drilled down into negotiation strategies designed to unlock tools to overcome challenges that present themselves in a range of practice areas. To do this, the associates worked in small teams to brainstorm tactics for two different simulated negotiations. Then they negotiated against one another and reported their results to the larger group.

Associates learned not to "underestimate the leverage a counterparty may have even without a superior legal position" and "walked away with key negotiation techniques," including:

  • Information is power. Set aggressive and specific goals at the outset of any negotiation and gather information to support your strategy, including by asking questions and employing effective listening skills during the negotiation.
  • Maximize your leverage by evaluating both sides' need to make a deal and understanding when in it's your client's interest to walk away versus sign an agreement.
  • Employ "fair" objective criteria such as market value, precedent, and expert opinion to stand firmly on principles of independence and objectivity. 
  • Design an offer-concession strategy before the negotiation to guide the timing of any offers and/or concessions you will make during the negotiation.
  • Control the agenda by taking the initiative to prepare it including to propose the time, place, and order of the discussion, and to define any deadlines.

Associates especially "enjoyed getting to know and working with some of the other associates at the firm that [they] hadn't met previously."

The Negotiation Training Workshop is one of a series of multi-day, interactive training programs designed to introduce Foley associates to the skills needed to thrive and advance in their practices. These programs enable associates to practice new skills in a training environment, and to receive feedback on specific tactics from experts in the field.

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