Leading the Way in M&A – The Deal Names Alison Ressler and Melissa Sawyer to Its “Women in M&A: Powerhouse 20” List

December 20, 2018

Two S&C partners, Alison Ressler and Melissa Sawyer, are among just 10 lawyers named to The Deal’s “Women in M&A: The Powerhouse 20,” the publication’s list of the top women in M&A today. The Deal turned to outside industry experts, as well as looking to its own database, to identify the women M&A lawyers and bankers who are the very best in the profession. 

Alison and Melissa, together with Rita-Anne O’Neill, were also profiled by The Deal for a series of articles about women in M&A, covering their work on industry-shaping deals, and gender diversity in the field

These three partners regularly help global clients to architect their biggest and most complex M&A deals. Collectively, these women bring more than 40 years of experience in M&A to bear on helping clients succeed, while paving the way for the next generation of women leaders in the field.

Learn more about S&C’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice.

Alison Ressler

Alison S. Ressler is a leading authority on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and capital markets. She provides advice to U.S. and non-U.S. corporations, private equity investors, boards of directors and financial advisers for a wide range of transactions in regulated and unregulated industries.
Regularly cited at the very top of the legal profession in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate governance and capital markets, Alison has also been named American Lawyer’s “Dealmaker of the Week” multiple times and was named American Lawyer’s “Dealmaker of the Year” for advising Barclays in the sale of Barclays Global Investors to BlackRock. In 2017, Alison was named a Law360 “Private Equity MVP.” In 2014, Alison was recognized as one of the 10 most innovative lawyers in North America by the Financial Times and as a Law360 “M&A MVP.” She is regularly recognized by additional leading industry publications, including Chambers USA, Legal 500, IFLR1000, Lawdragon, Euromoney, The Lawyer and M&A Advisor.
Alison is a member of the Firm’s Management Committee, serves as co-head of the Global Private Equity Group and is responsible for the Firm’s practice in California.
Learn more about Alison Ressler's M&A transactions.
Melissa Sawyer

A partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group, Melissa Sawyer also serves as co-head of the Firm’s Corporate Governance & Activism 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, industrials, medtech and insurance. In the past three years alone, Melissa has advised AT&T, Diageo, Sotheby’s and UnitedHealth, to name a few.

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 is recognized as a Law360 MVP in Food & Beverage, one of Crain’s “Leading Women Lawyers in New York City,” a “Top Woman Attorney in New York” by Super Lawyers, a Rising Star by IFLR1000 and “Dealmaker of the Week” by The American Lawyer. Additional accolades include receiving a Burton Award for Legal Achievement, being chosen as an Empire State Counsel Honoree by the New York State Bar Association and recognition by Super Lawyers for her work in Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance and Compliance and Business/Corporate.
Learn more about Melissa Sawyer.

Rita O’Neill

Rita O’Neill is a partner in the General Practice Group and serves as co-head of the Global Private Equity Group. She has a broad-based practice that includes advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings, and providing general corporate advice on disclosure and governance. She has advised clients in a wide range of industries, including apparel, financial institutions, healthcare and life sciences, semiconductors, telecommunications and transportation.
Rita is vice chair of the ABA’s Women in M&A Task Force and a member of S&C’s Women’s Initiative Committee. In 2017 alone, she was named a 2017 Rising Star - Corporate at Euromoney’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards, as well as to the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers of 2017. The list recognizes women lawyers in California who are at the top of their practice.
Rita was also recognized as among the Women Worth Watching for the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2017 list.
Learn more about Rita O’Neill.

Read more from The Deal’s Women in M&A series in “Cracking the Glass Ceiling” and “The Female Art of the Deal.”