FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Melissa Sawyer

Melissa Sawyer

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

New York, NY, USA


Melissa Sawyer is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group and is co-head of the Firm’s Consumer & Retail Group. In addition to advising clients on public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, she also regularly advises clients on corporate governance, activism and takeover defense matters. Ms. Sawyer’s experience spans multiple industries, including consumer and retail, industrials, medtech, insurance and cybersecurity.

Ms. Sawyer has been recognized repeatedly as a leading M&A advisor. In 2017, Ms. Sawyer was ranked by Chambers USA in Band 5 for Corporate/M&A. She also received a Burton Award for Legal Achievement for her co-authored article “M&A Implications for Corporate Governance and Succession Planning for Family-Controlled Businesses,” which was published in the May 2016 issue of The M&A Lawyer. In 2017, Ms. Sawyer was also named a Rising Star by IFLR1000 for the fourth consecutive year. In 2016, Ms. Sawyer was recognized by Chambers USA for the third time as a Corporate M&A “Up and Coming” lawyer and selected by Super Lawyers as a “Top Woman Attorney in New York”. In 2015, she was also named as a “Dealmaker of the Week” by The American Lawyer and recognized for Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance and Compliance, and Business/Corporate by New York Super Lawyers, in addition to being chosen as an Empire State Counsel Honoree by the New York State Bar Association.

In the past three years alone, Ms. Sawyer has advised AT&T in its $108.7 billion pending acquisition of Time Warner Inc.; Nike in its strategic partnership to establish a new apparel supply chain company with Apollo Global Management; Apollo Education Group in its $1.1 billion going private transaction and on corporate governance matters related to its ongoing business transformation; Sotheby’s in its repurchase of 2.05 million shares of its common stock from funds managed by Marcato Capital Management, its acquisition of Art Agency, Partners, its support agreement with Taikang Insurance Group and on other ongoing governance matters; Cablevision in its sale to Altice; Cytec in its sale to Solvay; UnitedHealth Group in its acquisition of Catamaran; Tokio Marine in its acquisition of HCC; BBA Aviation in its acquisition of Landmark Aviation and sale of FBOs to KSL; CONMED in its acquisition of SurgiQuest; Diageo in its sale of Bushmills to, and acquisition of Tequila Don Julio from, Casa Cuervo; and Bessemer in the Hubbell reclassification transaction, among other matters.

Ms. Sawyer is currently a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and Secretary of the Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Control Contests Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Ms. Sawyer also speaks and writes on corporate governance and M&A matters. She has participated in numerous panels for the Practising Law Institute and regularly writes for The M&A Lawyer, The Deal Pipeline and LexisNexis.   

Ms. Sawyer has been a Partner since 2009 and is a Hiring Partner, an Associate Development Partner and the Chair of the Knowledge Management Committee at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She is a graduate of University of Virginia Law School and Washington and Lee University.

Melissa Sawyer is associated with the following items:
CHB Chapters  CHB Chapters 2016 Proxy Season Review (July 11, 2016) - Preparing for Shareholder Activism: What You Need to Be Doing Now 2016, Monday, December 12, 2016
M&A Implications of Corporate Governance and Succession Planning for Family-Controlled Businesses - Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2017, Monday, June 26, 2017
Web Segment  Web Segment The Current State of Hedge Fund Activism - Preparing For Shareholder Activism: What You Need To Be Doing Now 2016, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions - Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2017, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Delaware Law Developments in M&A - Hot Topics in Mergers & Acquisitions 2017, Tuesday, September 26, 2017
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio The Current State of Hedge Fund Activism - The Current State of Hedge Fund Activism, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions - Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Delaware Law Developments in M&A - Delaware Law Developments in M&A , Tuesday, September 26, 2017
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg The Current State of Hedge Fund Activism - The Current State of Hedge Fund Activism, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions - Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Delaware Law Developments in M&A - Delaware Law Developments in M&A , Tuesday, September 26, 2017
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Preparing For Shareholder Activism: What You Need To Be Doing Now 2016, Friday, December 16, 2016, New York, NY
Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2017, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, New York, NY
Hot Topics in Mergers & Acquisitions 2017, Wednesday, September 27, 2017, New York, NY
Transcripts  Transcripts Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions - Earn-outs and Fiduciary Duties in Private Transactions, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Delaware Law Developments in M&A - Delaware Law Developments in M&A , Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Live Seminar  Live Seminar Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, New York, NY
Live Webcast  Live Webcast Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, New York, NY
PLI Grpcast-Live Web  PLI Grpcast-Live Web Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Atlanta, GA
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Boston, MA
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Philadelphia, PA
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, New Brunswick , NJ
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Indianapolis, IN
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Mechanicsburg, PA
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Cleveland, OH
Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments, Thursday, January 11, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA
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