We are so proud of what our Loeb alumni have accomplished since they left the firm, and we hope that Loeb Reconnected will help you get to know your fellow alumni on a deeper level.
This Q&A features Dan Larsen, who was a member of Loeb’s Capital Markets & Corporate department from January 2011 to March 2014.
Catch us up! Where have you been since Loeb?
After departing Loeb in 2014, I worked as the vice president and associate general counsel at TOMS for approximately five years. Founded in 2006, TOMS is a mission-driven footwear company that sells shoes, apparel, sunglasses and other accessories. The “one-for-one” company was formed on the premise that for every pair of shoes sold, another pair is given to a child in need. Working at TOMS was a great experience in which I was introduced to the in-house legal environment and the unique challenges in-house counsel deal with on a daily basis. Because TOMS is an international company with a global distribution network, I also learned how to navigate the many different jurisdictions where TOMS has operations or partnerships and gained exposure to many different aspects of business I wasn’t exposed to previously in my legal career.
I started my current position at The Yucaipa Companies in April 2019 and serve as the associate general counsel. Located in Los Angeles, The Yucaipa Companies is a private equity and investment firm founded in 1986. My current role is a great mix of private practice and in-house legal work. We’re actively involved in evaluating, structuring and pursuing new investment opportunities, as well as monitoring our current investment portfolio. This allows me to work on both strategic transactions and commercial matters important to our portfolio companies.
Is there anything you learned at Loeb that you’ve taken with you to your current role or any of the other roles you’ve had?
So many things! Prior to working at Loeb, my practice was focused mainly on leveraged finance. Working at Loeb broadened my legal practice. I gained experience not only in finance but also in all types of corporate transactions, including large strategic transactions, general commercial contracts (which are the nuts and bolts of your everyday legal work when you’re part of an in-house team), mergers and acquisitions, asset purchases, private equity, and more. Loeb gave me the opportunity to really get to know clients and understand their businesses. This insight into our clients’ needs translated directly to my work as in-house counsel at TOMS and The Yucaipa Companies.
Can you share a specific Loeb memory that you are fond of? It can be a person, a place, an occurrence, etc.
Loeb changed my life in many positive ways. First and foremost, I’m eternally grateful to Loeb for introducing me to my wife, Rebecca Sterling. Rebecca worked as an associate in the Trusts & Estates department while I was an associate in the Capital Markets & Corporate department. We got married in 2014.
A work memory that really stands out was being part of a cross-departmental entertainment/corporate transaction and working with Arash Khalili, John Frankenheimer and Amy Ortner. The negotiations were complicated and protracted, culminating in parties from both sides getting together in person in a conference room at the Loeb offices to hash out all remaining open issues. We worked from sunrise until way past sunset over the course of a long weekend and were able to get to a point where both sides were happy with the deal that was signed.
In-person negotiations of that type seem to be exceedingly rare, and will likely happen even less frequently going forward. Parties increasingly only interact via email, phone or video. Our current digital landscape can make closing a deal feel anticlimactic. That deal stands out because of how rewarding it felt to have everyone in the same room, face-to-face, to shake hands when the deal was done, and to celebrate our hard work.
What did you like most about working at Loeb?
I really enjoyed working with all my colleagues on the Corporate team, as it was filled with ambitious, smart, motivated and talented lawyers. Being part of that small, but growing, team in the Los Angeles office allowed me to work very closely with and learn from peers and partners, like Arash Khalili, Steve Hurdle, Paul Severin and Chris Kelly. I learned so much from my interactions with all of them and got to observe firsthand how they developed new client relationships, negotiated deals and put their clients’ interests first. Our small group allowed us to connect, build relationships and readily share ideas with one another. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to work on so many varied corporate transactions, which continues to benefit me to this day.
What does being part of Loeb Reconnected, Loeb’s alumni community, mean to you?
Loeb Reconnected is a great resource for maintaining personal and professional relationships and for continued professional development, all of which are so important. It’s always interesting to catch up with former co-workers and find out what they are doing professionally and personally. It’s a great group, and I’m happy to be part of it.