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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 takeover defense and proxy contests.

Ms. Saeed serves as a Trustee of The Paley Center and NewYork‑Presbyterian, and on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City, The Paley Foundation and The March of Dimes (NY Chapter). She is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of New York. Ms. Saeed served on the Visiting Committee for Harvard Law School from 2006 to 2011.

Ms. Saeed has extensive deal experience across many industry sectors, including significant depth in media/tech and biotech. Notable matters include advising:

  • Disney in its $85 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, overcoming an interloper bid by Comcast to its original $66 billion agreement, the $10.6 billion sale of the Fox Regional Sports Networks to Sinclair and the $3.47 billion sale of its interest in the YES Network to an investor group including the Yankees and Sinclair;
  • Time Warner in numerous matters, including its $109 billion acquisition by AT&T, its investment in Hulu, its defense against an unsolicited proposal from 21st Century Fox (which was withdrawn) and its defense against Carl Icahn;
  • Viacom’s board committee in its $30 billion merger with CBS;
  • Occidental Petroleum in its $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko, topping Anadarko’s original agreement with Chevron, the $8.8 billion sale of Anadarko’s African assets to Total, the $10 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway and its dealings with Carl Icahn;
  • Precision Castparts in its $37 billion acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway;
  • Buckeye Partners in its $10.3 billion acquisition by IFM and the sale of its holdings in VTTI to Vitol and IFM;
  • The Ricketts family in the pending $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade by Charles Schwab;
  • 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;
  • Hasbro in its $4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One;
  • Yahoo’s board committee 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 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;
  • 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;
  • KKR’s board committee in KKR’s conversion to a corporation and KKR’s $2.6 billion acquisition of KKR Financial Holdings;
  • 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;
  • Kraft Foods in its $2.6 billion Reverse Morris Trust divestiture of Post cereals to Ralcorp, and in its negotiations with Nelson Peltz;
  • 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 is a recipient of the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award, and she was named one of the Asia Society’s Game Changers of 2019.

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” four times by The American Lawyer magazine, in 2000, 2005, 2011 and 2019, and also named to its list of “45 Under 45” in 2003. The Hollywood Reporter named her one of “Hollywood’s Top 20 Dealmakers” of 2016 and 2018 and one of the “Top 100 Power Lawyers” from 2017 through 2020.

Ms. Saeed is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award from Chambers & Partners (2010). She has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s leading practitioners in M&A and media and entertainment by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Who's Who Legal: M&A and Governance, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 US, IFLR1000 and Lawdragon magazine. Ms. Saeed has been profiled in Crain’s New York Business (“Notable Women in Law” (2020), “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” (2017 and 2019) 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). She is a member of the New York Women’s Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Editorial Board of The M&A Lawyer.

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.

Ms. Saeed joined Cravath in 1991 and was elected a partner in 1998. From January 2013 to July 2016, she served as Co‑Head of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice. In July 2016, Ms. Saeed was elected Presiding Partner.

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

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