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Faiza J. Saeed

Partner, Corporate

Faiza J. Saeed is Cravath’s Presiding Partner. She advises public companies, boards of directors and special committees in connection with M&A, corporate governance and crisis management, including consensual and hostile transactions, leveraged buyouts, strategic investments, takeover defense, proxy contests and hedge fund activism.

Ms. Saeed was designated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos) in 2006. In 2007, The New York Times named her one of “Wall Street’s 100 Masters of the New Universe.” She has been recognized as a “Dealmaker of the Year” three times by The American Lawyer magazine, in 2000, 2005 and 2011, and also named to its list of “45 Under 45” in 2003. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award from Chambers and Partners (2010). The Hollywood Reporter named her one of “Hollywood’s Top 20 Dealmakers” in 2017 and one of the “Top 100 Power Lawyers” in 2017 and 2018. 

Ms. Saeed has extensive deal experience across many industry sectors, including significant depth in consumer, media/tech and biotech. She has led major cross‑border deals in Canada, France, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and China. Notable matters include advising:

  • Time Warner in numerous matters, including its $109 billion acquisition by AT&T, its investment in Hulu, the unsolicited proposal from 21st Century Fox (which was withdrawn), its defense against Carl Icahn, its divestiture of Time Warner Telecom and its merger with AOL;
  • Disney in its pending $66 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox;
  • Precision Castparts in its $37 billion acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway;
  • Northrop Grumman in its $9.2 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK;
  • AveXis in its $8.7 billion acquisition by Novartis;
  • InterMune in its $8.9 billion acquisition by Roche;
  • The Strategic Review Committee of the Yahoo board in the $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo’s operating business by Verizon;
  • DreamWorks Animation in its $4.1 billion acquisition by Comcast, its acquisition of Classic Media, the formation of Oriental DreamWorks with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media, and its spin‑off IPO from DreamWorks;
  • Morgan Stanley’s board during the financial crisis, including the $9 billion investment by Mitsubishi UFJ;
  • Vivendi in its $46 billion merger with Seagram and in numerous follow‑on acquisitions and investments, including USA Networks,, Houghton Mifflin and EchoStar;
  • Sapient in its $3.7 billion acquisition by Publicis;
  • Terra Industries in its defense against a hostile bid from CF Industries (which was withdrawn), its $4.6 billion proposed sale to Yara and $5.2 billion topping bid by CF Industries;
  • Pentair in its $10 billion inversion/Reverse Morris Trust merger with Tyco Flow;
  • Williams in its $9.4 billion interloper bid for Southern Union;
  • Lycos in its $12 billion merger with Telefonica’s Terra Networks;
  • Starbucks in its acquisition of Teavana, its commercial arrangement with Oprah Winfrey and its investment in Square;
  • Amblin Partners in its strategic partnership with Alibaba Pictures and the investment by Comcast, and, together with Steven Spielberg, in its formation with Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One, and the formation of its predecessor studio with Reliance;
  • DreamWorks SKG from its formation to its $1.6 billion sale to Paramount Pictures;
  • The family of Charles Schulz in the sale by Iconix of its interest in “Peanuts” to DHX Media, and in the acquisition of “Peanuts” from Scripps;
  • The independent directors of KKR in KKR’s $2.6 billion acquisition of KKR Financial Holdings;
  • Kraft Foods in its $2.6 billion Reverse Morris Trust divestiture of Post cereals to Ralcorp, and in its negotiations with Nelson Peltz;
  • Rexam in its $2.1 billion acquisition of ANC;
  • WuXi in its proposed $1.6 billion merger with Charles River;
  • TKT in its contested $1.6 billion merger with Shire; and
  • Lundbeck in its acquisitions of Chelsea Therapeutics and Synaptic Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Saeed has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s leading practitioners in M&A and media and entertainment by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The International Who’s Who of Merger & Acquisition Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, IFLR1000 and Lawdragon magazine. She has also been profiled in Crain’s New York Business (“50 Most Powerful Women in New York” (2017) and “100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business” (2007)), The National Law Journal (“40 Under 40” (2005)), New York Magazine (2001), Corporate Board Member magazine (2002) and Dealmaker magazine (2008).

Ms. Saeed serves as a Trustee of The Paley Center and on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City and The March of Dimes (NY Chapter). She is a member of the New York Women’s Foundation, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and she served on the Visiting Committee for Harvard Law School from 2006 to 2011. She is a member of the Editorial Board of M&A Lawyer magazine.

Ms. Saeed was born in Walnut Creek, California. She received a B.A. in Economics and Molecular Biology with Highest Distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. She joined Cravath in 1991 and was elected a partner in 1998. From January 2013 to July 2016, Ms. Saeed served as Co‑Head of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice. In July 2016, she was elected Presiding Partner, effective January 1, 2017. From July 2016 to December 2016, Ms. Saeed served as Deputy Presiding Partner.

Ms. Saeed may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1454 or by email at

Ms. Saeed is admitted only in New York, California (Inactive) and District of Columbia (Inactive).

+1 (212) 474-1454
+1 (212) 474-3700