Melissa Sawyer and Rita-Anne O’Neill have been recognized by The Deal’s “Women in Dealmaking” for M&A and private equity, respectively. The annual list recognizes women in the legal profession who excel in their fields, in addition to contributing to mentorship, advancing gender diversity and thought leadership.
Melissa is Global Head of S&C’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group and co-head of the Firm’s Corporate Governance & Activism Practice. She regularly advises companies on public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. She is advising AT&T in its spin-off of WarnerMedia and combination with Discovery and recently advised Baxter International in its $12.4 billion acquisition of Hillrom. Melissa was named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer for her role advising Tiffany & Co. in its $16 billion acquisition by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Melissa serves on the board of advisors for NYU School of Law’s Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, and she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Rita is co-head of S&C’s Global Private Equity Practice and advises a mix of private equity firms and corporate clients on M&A, strategic investments and securities law matter, and provides general corporate advice on disclosure and governance. Rita is a member of S&C’s Women’s Initiative Committee and is the co-founder and co-chair of a national Women in M&A Network (WiMA). She also serves as co-chair of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute, vice chair of the ABA M&A Committee and co-chair of the ABA’s Acquisition of Public Companies Subcommittee. Her recent deals include advising Royal Philips in its $2.75 billion acquisition of BioTelemetry, Oaktree Capital in more than $1 billion in announced investments and equity financings, and Ares and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in their acquisition of TricorBraun.