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Vault Law Resource Center

Mergers & Acquisitions


M&A attorneys represent companies that are the acquirers or the targets in acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, minority investments, spinoffs and other similar transactions. Some attorneys in this practice area focus on either acquirers or targets, or on deals involving either public or private companies, while others work broadly across many types of transactions. Many M&A attorneys, especially at larger firms, specialize in private equity transactions, representing private equity firms in the acquisition or disposition of “portfolio companies.” The day-to-day work of M&A attorneys involves negotiating transaction terms, drafting and revising documents, performing due diligence, and overseeing compliance with applicable laws. Often M&A transactions involve specialized attorneys (finance, tax, executive compensation, etc.), and the M&A attorneys generally serve as the quarterback, supervising or organizing these specialists. Attorneys on both sides of M&A transactions are generally working toward the same goal of getting the deal completed, so often, the practice is not adversarial. M&A is deal-based, so the work can come in waves and often take place over holidays or at the end of the year. M&A attorneys generally have more opportunities to go in-house than litigators or specialist corporate attorneys, in part because they tend to be seen as more generalists, having had a hand in every part of a transaction.

Top Ranked Firms

Practice Area Q&A’s

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Andrew M. Wark

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Daniel Brass

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Jenna E. Levine


Gavin Westerman

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

G.J. Ligelis Jr.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Chrissy Metcalf

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Scott Barshay & Andrew Krause

Simpson Thacher

Atif Azher & Kristin Rulison

Advice from Vault Law

Practice Area Insights: Mergers & Acquisitions

Practice Area Insights: Mergers & Acquisitions

By Vault Law Editors

What’s Hot, or Not, in 2023

What’s Hot, or Not, in 2023

By Rebecca King-Newman

In Demand and Emerging Practice Areas

In Demand and Emerging Practice Areas

By Peter Horvath