Melissa Sawyer is Global Head of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group and is co-head of the Firm’s Corporate Governance Practice. 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. Melissa’s experience spans multiple industries, including consumer and retail, TMT, technology, industrials and life sciences.
A two-time winner of The American Lawyer’s “Dealmaker of the Year” (in 2020 and 2022), Melissa has been repeatedly recognized as a leading M&A adviser. She is ranked by Chambers USA in Corporate/M&A, where clients describe her as “an absolute superstar,” and was named a Client Service All-Star by BTI. She was also named to The Deal’s “Top Women in Dealmaking” and “Women in M&A: The Powerhouse 20” for shaping the industry with her novel approach to transactions and has been recognized as a Law360 MVP in Mergers & Acquisitions and Food & Beverage, one of Crain’s “Leading Women Lawyers in New York City,” “Dealmaker of the Week” by The American Lawyer and one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Dealmakers in America” for her work in corporate governance, M&A and activism defense. Additional accolades include receiving a Burton Award for Legal Achievement and being chosen as an Empire State Counsel Honoree by the New York State Bar Association.
Melissa serves on the board of advisors for NYU School of Law’s Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, is an adviser on the American Law Institute's Corporate Governance Restatement project, is a member of the Editorial Board of Insights: The Corporate and Securities Law Advisor and serves on the board of directors for the French-American Foundation. She is currently a member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Melissa has participated in numerous panels for the Practising Law Institute and regularly writes for The M&A Lawyer, The Deal Pipeline and LexisNexis.
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