Schulich MBA students learn the art of joint venture negotiation

MBA students at York University’s Schulich School of Business participated in a simulated real estate joint venture negotiation recently with Canada’s top business lawyers.

Schulich MBA students participated in a simulated real estate joint venture negotiation last week with Canada’s top business lawyers

An experiential learning exercise, held in collaboration with a team of leading legal practitioners from McCarthy Tetrault LLP, the event provided Schulich MBA students with an opportunity to engage in simulated negotiations for joint venture real estate and infrastructure agreements.

As the understanding of negotiation strategy is a complex undertaking for students, Professor Sherena Hussain (BBA ’08, MBA/JD ’12) of Schulich’s Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure devised a hands-on assignment where students developed strategies and proceeded to negotiate a joint venture agreement for a hypothetical transit-oriented development project.

The assignment was conducted in connection with the Structuring Development Transactions course offered in the MBA and MREI programs.

Students were exposed to the complexity of joint venture negotiations by being divided into teams and given the role of either a developer or a capital investor. Both teams applied their understanding of legal concepts and real estate and infrastructure development tools to prepare a graded negotiation strategy.

Lawyers from McCarthy Tetrault offered their time and expertise to coach and mentor teams on negotiation strategy, investment considerations and development processes. Industry leaders from IAM Real Estate Group, Fengate Real Assets, Carlyle Communities and the Brookfield Centre also offered their insights as business advisors to each team.

Professor Sherena Hussain (centre) with her MBA class

“McCarthy Tetrault has been participating in this Joint Venture Negotiation Exercise, now in its fourth year, to ensure that the next generation of real estate and infrastructure leaders are well-prepared in the art of negotiating complex development transactions,” said Hussain.

“It is an honour for our firm to host and participate. Our lawyers and clients look forward to this event every year, as it is a way for us to give back to the community,” said Charlene Schafer, partner, Real Property & Planning. “It is always refreshing and very rewarding to see how keen the students are and we cannot wait to follow them as they rise up through the ranks of the industry. We wish all of them continued success with the program and are already excited about next year’s event.”