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John L. Savva


John L. Savva

Palo Alto +1-650-461-5610+1-650-461-5610 +1-650-461-5700+1-650-461-5700
[email protected]

John Savva is a partner resident in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Palo Alto office and is a member of the Firm’s General Practice Group.

For over 30 years, Mr. Savva has successfully represented prominent and cutting-edge corporations and emerging growth companies in their most significant mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions, public and private financings, derivatives transactions and venture capital investments. Mr. Savva has extensive experience advising clients across a wide range of industries, including technology, media and telecommunications, biotechnology and other healthcare and life sciences, financial institutions, retail and e-commerce.

Highly regarded as a leading corporate lawyer in California, Mr. Savva has been recognized at the top of the legal profession by leading industry publications, including Chambers USA, Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America.

  • “Spin-Offs: Frequently Asked Questions,” Deal Lawyers (2016) (co-author)


  • Public and Private M&A and Restructuring: Verifone in its acquisition by Francisco Partners, in its sale of certain assets and liabilities of Verifone Taxi Solutions to Curb Technologies and in its 50-50 joint venture with Gas Station TV (GSTV) that combines the assets and operations of Verifone’s Pump Media division with GSTV, which is owned by Rockbridge Growth Equity and Falcon Investment Advisors; ORIX Capital Partners in its private equity investment and acquisition of Hoffman Southwest Corp.; Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in its acquisition of Salix Pharmaceuticals; Michael Rubin in connection with the acquisition of GSI Commerce by eBay; Vista Equity Partners in the acquisitions of SumTotal Systems, Inc. and Sirsi Corporation, the acquisition and subsequent disposition to Bain Capital Partners of Applied Systems, Inc. and its investment in, and subsequent disposition of, Aspect Communications; The PMI Group, as leader of a group of investors in the acquisition of Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., and in connection with the acquisition of a majority interest in Fairbanks Capital and the disposition of PMI Australia; Vista Equity Partners in a proxy fight relating to its investment in Aspect Communications; AIG in connection with its acquisition of Sunamerica, its investment in 20th Century and its acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation; SOFTBANK Corporation in its joint venture with Zynga, its joint venture with Microsoft and Global Crossing, its acquisition and subsequent disposition of Kingston Technology Company, and its investments in numerous other private and public companies. In addition, Mr. Savva has advised clients on a variety of complex structured equity derivatives transactions. He has also represented financial advisers in numerous merger and acquisition and restructuring engagements.
  • Venture Capital: Investors in numerous venture capital investments, including investments in Aequus, Alladvantage, Amp’d Mobile, Associated Content, Beliefnet, Buddy Media,, Danger, Inc., Desktone, Dovebid, Inc., E*Trade, Global Sports,,, Litescape, National Leisure Group, Naviant,, Optimark, PeoplePc, Pivot Solutions, RockYou, Twitter, UTStarcom, Viacore, Webvan, Yahoo!, Inc., Zynga and numerous other companies. Mr. Savva has represented Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Intel Corporation and SoftBank in connection with various equity and convertible debt investments in technology companies. Mr. Savva also regularly represents placement agents in connection with venture capital private placements.
  • Public and Private Financings: Initial public offerings by Anaplan, AZEK, Columbia Sportswear, Confluent, CoSine Communications, Credo, Data Domain, FibroGen, Hortonworks, Levi Strauss & Co., Marvell Technology Group, Mobileye, ON24, ONI Systems, Palm, Paula Financial,, Toast, Turnstone Systems, Unity Software, Universal Access, Upstart Holdings, Weave Communications and Yodlee; follow-on equity offerings by Adept Technology, Autodesk, AZEK, Coinstar, E-Tek Dynamics, Exelixis, Hortonworks, Inktomi, ONI Systems, QuantumScape, Transmeta Corporation, Turnstone Systems, Valeant and UTStarcom; convertible debt financings by Advanced Energy Industries, Integra LifeSciences, J2Global, ONI Systems, PMC-Sierra, Spirit Aerosystems, Unity Software and Upstart Holdings; straight debt financings by CNH Global, CNH Industrial Capital, Knight-Ridder, The Gap, Airborne Freight and UNOVA; and the offering of earthquake-linked securities by Domestic Re, the demutualization of, and initial public offering by, Standard Insurance of Oregon, and a variety of debt and equity offerings by Allstate and The PMI Group. Mr. Savva has represented placement agents in multiple PIPE offerings in connection with SPAC acquisitions. Mr. Savva represented SoftBank in connection with its $10 billion monetization of a portion of its interest in Alibaba through the second-largest mandatory exchangeable security offering ever conducted.
  • Corporate Governance: Mr. Savva has advised clients on a variety of corporate governance and disclosure issues, including issues relating to financial statement restatements, disclosure policies and procedures, Regulation FD and director independence, and has participated in a number of internal inquiries and investigations.


  • Chambers USA – recognized in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity in California (2014-2022) and in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity in the Western United States (2019-2022)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – recognized as a leading lawyer in corporate governance and compliance (2007-2011), private funds/hedge funds law (2011-2018) and mergers & acquisitions law (2012-2018) 
  • IPO Journal – ranked as the second leading individual lawyer in the country during 2000
  • The Legal 500 United States – recommended in Capital Markets: high yield debt offerings – advice to issuers and managers (2014, 2016, 2017) and in Capital Markets: equity offerings (2016, 2017)