I sighed inwardly when I was greeted with three forms to fill when I attended my dental appointment.

There was a form to fill in personal data, a privacy consent form and a questionnaire about medical history.

The last form was a two-page questionnaire with ‘answer yes/no’ questions squeezed into three columns on each side of the page.

I groaned. This must be how the clients feel when they fill in legal due diligence questionnaire.

Next, the dentist ran through the questionnaire with me. I think he asked the same questions but in different manner three times. Perhaps he was trying to get certain information but the nuances of the questions were lost on me.

Perhaps I was just impatient. It was a beautiful Saturday morning. I had deadlines to meet the following week and I was anxious to get back to my work. I was tempted to skip the dental appointment if not for the fact that I had to wait a month for the appointment.

My thinking changed as the dentist went through the questions meticulously. There was no doubt that he was thorough. This is the first time I encountered a dentist who measured my blood pressure. He ran through what he called his ‘independent tests’ and gave me a clear explanation on what to expect. He also told me that I would thank him later for being so thorough. He wasn’t trying to sell me anything. I am not an expert in this area but I could sense that he is a professional doing his job properly.

In my line of work, sometimes the management of the target “complain” when we ask questions to clarify legal due diligence issues. When we have doubts, we ask questions. When the answers are not clear, we ask more questions to clarify. We then analyse and discuss the issues with the clients to decide on their importance and whether to address those issues in the transaction agreements. We could have done the minimum required but that’s not how we work.

I appreciated the dentist’s effort more than I would have otherwise because of what I have gone through in my profession.


This post was first posted on Linkedin on 3 November 2022.

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