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. Her clients have included Bacardi, DreamWorks Animation, Morgan Stanley, Starbucks and Time Warner.
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” and Crain’s New York Business one of the “100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business.” 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).
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 pending $109 billion acquisition by AT&T, its investment in Hulu, the unsolicited proposal from 21st Century Fox (which was withdrawn), its defense against Carl Icahn, its divestiture of Time Warner Telecom and its merger with AOL;
- Precision Castparts in its $37 billion acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway;
- The Strategic Review Committee of the Board of Directors of Yahoo in the pending $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo’s operating business by Verizon;
- InterMune in its $8.9 billion acquisition by Roche;
- 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, MP3.com, 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- Terra Industries in its defense against a hostile bid from CF Industries (which was withdrawn), its $4.6 billion proposed sale to Yara and $5.2 billion topping bid by CF Industries;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 Amblin Partners and Steven Spielberg in the formation of Amblin with Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One, and in the original formation of the studio with Reliance;
- DreamWorks SKG from its formation to its $1.6 billion sale to Paramount Pictures;
- The family of Charles Schulz in buying “Peanuts” from Scripps;
- Viacom in a joint venture with RealNetworks to create Rhapsody America, and in the acquisition by Rhapsody of Napster;
- 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;
- CSX in its proxy contest with TCI and 3G Capital;
- Rexam in its $2.1 billion acquisition of American National Can;
- Seat Pagine Gialle in its interloper bid for NetCreations;
- 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 The National Law Journal (“40 Under 40” (2005)), New York Magazine (2001), Corporate Board Member magazine (2002) and Dealmaker magazine (2008).
Ms. Saeed is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and she served on the Visiting Committee for Harvard Law School from 2006 to 2011. She speaks frequently on developments in M&A including as a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and a panelist at Tulane University’s Corporate Law Institute and the International Bar Association’s International M&A Conference. She is a member of the Editorial Board of M&A Lawyer magazine. Ms. Saeed also serves on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes (NY Chapter).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.