A Preeminent Corporate Practice

Wachtell Lipton enjoys a global reputation as one of the world’s leading business law firms.  Our deep experience means we regularly handle many of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions in the United States and around the world.  We counsel both public and private acquirors and targets, advising on a wide range of corporate matters, including:

  • U.S., Cross-Border and International Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity and Strategic Investments
  • Spin-offs and Split-ups
  • Securities Offerings and Other Capital-Raising Transactions

In addition, we are recognized as a leading firm for:

  • Takeover Defense
  • Shareholder Activism
  • Corporate Governance

What We Have Done

Wachtell Lipton consistently ranks near the very top of legal advisors by transaction dollar volume, notwithstanding that we are significantly smaller than all of our major competitors.  Over the past five years, we have been a legal advisor on eight of the ten largest transactions in the United States and seven of the ten largest transactions globally, as well as numerous other acquisition and restructuring transactions across many industries and of every description.

Representative major U.S. M&A matters can be found here.

Representative major cross-border or non-U.S. M&A matters can be found here.

Creativity in Service of Our Clients

Wachtell Lipton has repeatedly contributed to major evolutions in corporate law in order to advance the interests of our clients.  Among other things, we originated the shareholder rights plan, or “poison pill”; structured the first cross-border “Morris Trust” transaction, between SmithKline Beckman and Beecham; and has been involved in the transactions giving rise to most of the landmark corporate governance decisions in Delaware, including the Household, Revlon, Newmont Mining, Macmillan, Interco, Time Warner, QVC, IBP and Airgas decisions.

Financial Institutions Practice

Wachtell Lipton has long enjoyed an especially prominent role representing major financial institutions on their most consequential matters. Our practice is comprised of a dedicated core of attorneys with deep experience with high-stakes issues confronting financial institutions – mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, joint ventures, enforcement actions, internal investigations, executive succession and crisis management.  We have played pivotal roles in most of the transformative transactions in the banking and financial industry, including many of the historic events unfolding during the recent financial crisis.

Shareholder Activism

Wachtell Lipton is a leading defender of companies that are under attack by shareholder activists. We have advised numerous public companies, including AOL, Vulcan Materials, Clorox, Forest Laboratories, CVR Energy, Target, Motorola, Office Depot, Longs Drugs, Lionsgate and Convergys in responding to activist shareholders such as Carl Icahn, Pershing Square and JANA Partners, as well as other hedge fund and corporate governance activists.

Corporate Governance

Wachtell Lipton is a thought leader in the area of corporate governance.  We have represented the NYSE in connection with the Exchange’s listing standards and corporate governance initiatives for listed companies.  We have represented a number of major corporations in connection with corporate governance and related matters; we have also advised special committees of boards of directors, including the boards of Novartis, Publicis and National Australia Bank, in connection with corporate governance investigations and related matters. We regularly advise boards and management teams on matters concerning sustainability, ESG and corporate purpose.