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Practice Overview


Cravath has been consistently recognized as a preeminent advisor on corporate transactions. From the construction of the American railroads in the nineteenth century to the launch of global media companies in the twenty‑first, the Firm has been at the center of many of the world’s most important transactions. According to the 2019 edition of Chambers USA, Cravath “houses a deep and impressive bench of attorneys that regularly handle high‑value and complex transactions” and “deliver expert knowledge.”

Cravath is the firm of choice for a large number of companies, financial institutions and boards of directors for their most important and complicated transactions. The Firm’s distinctive and rigorous system of training enables its lawyers to become highly skilled in a diverse range of areas, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, banking and credit, governance and board advisory, tax, executive compensation and benefits, financial restructuring and reorganization, trusts and estates, environmental, real estate and intellectual property. Its corporate lawyers have participated in many of the most important business and financial transactions in the world.

Cravath’s corporate lawyers advise companies on the full spectrum of M&A transactions, including public company mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin‑offs and joint ventures, as well as hostile takeovers and the defense of companies and boards of directors against activist hedge funds. The Firm also advises private equity firms and their portfolio companies in a broad range of matters across all aspects of their lifecycle, such as fund formation, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, public and private equity and debt offerings, bank financings and tax planning and structuring. Our private equity clients include traditional leveraged buy-out funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, as well as new entrants to the private equity space. The Firm’s capital markets practice represents issuers and investment banks in all types of U.S. and international offerings. Cravath’s banking and credit lawyers regularly advise major money center banks on lending transactions of every type, and borrowers on acquisition financings and transactions ranging from simple credit agreements to complex multicurrency, multijurisdictional financings. The Firm provides corporate governance advice to clients facing difficult choices and evaluates complex and often unprecedented transactions under the most demanding circumstances. Cravath’s financial restructuring and reorganization practice addresses a wide range of financial distress situations involving both Chapter 11 cases and out‑of‑court workouts in domestic and cross‑border matters. The Firm’s environmental lawyers advise on environmental issues and challenges arising from transactions, business operations and dispute resolution. Cravath’s Tax Department designs tax-efficient structures for an array of complex U.S. and international transactions, including mergers, spin‑offs, joint ventures, private equity deals and internal restructurings. The Firm’s Executive Compensation and Benefits lawyers advise companies, boards of directors, compensation committees and senior management in a variety of compensation and benefit arrangements, as well as legal compliance concerns.

The Firm’s clients are located all over the world and span a broad range of industries, including consumer products, energy, healthcare, media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals, technology, telecommunications, retail, financial services and blockchain and financial technology (FinTech). The following clients, among many others, have called upon Cravath for their corporate transactions:

• AerCap
• Aerion
• Alcoa
• Altra
• Amazon
• Amblin Partners
• AmerisourceBergen
• AngloGold Ashanti
• Anheuser-Busch InBev
• Ashland
• Atlas Air Worldwide
• Avon
• Bacardi
• Banco Santander
• Bank of America
• Barrick Gold
• Biogen
• British American Tobacco
• Brookfield Asset Management
• Burlington Northern Santa Fe
• Casa Cuervo
• Cigna
• Cincinnati Bell
• Citi
• Conduent
• Cox Communications
• Credit Suisse

• Crown Castle
• Delta
• Deutsche Bank
• Deutsche Börse
• Disney
• Eurazeo
• European Investment Bank
• Facebook
• FactSet
• First Solar
• Fortress
• Genpact
• Goldman Sachs
• Hertz
• Honeywell
• J.D. Power
• Johnson & Johnson
• JPMorgan Chase
• Lazard
• Linde
• Lindsay Goldberg
• Morgan Stanley
• Mylan
• Naspers
• Nestlé
• Northrop Grumman
• Novartis 
• Occidental
• Olin 
• Orbotech
• Pacific Gas & Electric
• Pitney Bowes
• Qualcomm
• Royal Dutch Shell
• Scientific Games
• Shire
• Stanley Black & Decker
• Starbucks
• Technicolor
• Toll Brothers
• Unilever 
• US Foods
• Viacom
• Warner Media
• Wells Fargo
• WestRock
• Weyerhaeuser
• White Mountains
• Williams Companies

Cravath has been repeatedly recognized as a leading law firm for its corporate work, as demonstrated by the following accolades.

  • The 2019 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked Cravath in the top tier in seven corporate areas. The Firm was ranked in the first tier nationally in: Banking & Finance; Corporate/M&A (The Elite); and Tax (Corporate & Finance). In the New York legal market, the Firm was ranked in the first tier in: Corporate/M&A (The Elite); Environment (Mainly Transactional); Media & Entertainment (Corporate); and Tax.
  • The 2019 edition of IFLR1000 describes Cravath as “one of the most recognizable and highly esteemed names in the entire U.S. legal world.”
  • The 2019 edition of The Legal 500 United States ranked Cravath in the first tier nationally across 12 corporate areas: Capital Markets: Debt Offerings (Advice to Issuers); Capital Markets: Debt Offerings (Advice to Managers); Capital Markets: Equity Offerings (Advice to Managers); Capital Markets: Global Offerings (Advice to Issuers); Capital Markets: Global Offerings (Advice to Underwriters); Commercial Lending (Advice to Lenders); Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation; Environment: Transactional; International Tax; M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Large Deals ($1bn+); Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional; and U.S. Taxes: Non contentious.
  • The Financial Times named Cravath the “Most Innovative Law Firm for Legal Expertise” in its 2018 North America Innovative Lawyers report, noting that the Firm “stood out for its persistence and ability to help define industries.”
  • In 2018, Cravath received the Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Corporate/M&A Client Service. The Chambers USA Award for Excellence honors the most preeminent law firms in key practice areas and recognize notable achievements from the past 12 months, including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.
  • Cravath was honored with the 2018 U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” award in Mergers & Acquisitions Law. In addition, the Firm received top-tier rankings across 18 corporate practice categories in its annual “Best Law Firms” survey.
  • Cravath received the Gold Award for “Best USA Law Firm: Independent Corporate Law Firm” at the 2018 International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards. These awards recognize distinguished law firms in the U.S. market based on results achieved over the past year and enduring excellence in management and leadership.