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Stephen L. Burns

Partner, Corporate

Stephen L. Burns is Co‑Head of Cravath’s Finance practice. His practice focuses on representing companies and investment banking firms in connection with public and private offerings of securities, as well as on general corporate matters, including corporate governance and M&A matters. Mr. Burns was named Best Lawyers’ 2014 New York City “Lawyer of the Year” for Securities/Capital Markets Law. In 2019, he was named a Capital Markets Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.

Mr. Burns’s clients have included Crown Castle, Flowserve, IBM, Time Inc., Cox Enterprises, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. He has advised Crown Castle in its $7.1 billion acquisition of Lightower; its $600 million acquisition of Wilcon; its $1.5 billion acquisition of FiberNet; the $1.6 billion sale of CCAL, its Australian subsidiary, to a consortium of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets; its $1 billion acquisition of Sunesys; its $9.1 billion (including purchase options) acquisition of the rights to approximately 9,700 AT&T towers; its $4.8 billion (including purchase options) acquisition of the rights to approximately 7,100 T‑Mobile towers; and on over $30 billion in debt and equity financings since 2012. Mr. Burns recently advised IBM on its $20 billion debt financing to fund its acquisition of Red Hat. He also advised the underwriters in connection with Actavis’s offerings of $30 billion of debt and equity securities and Aqua America’s recent offerings of $4.2 billion of debt and equity securities. In addition, Mr. Burns represented the underwriters in connection with recent offerings by American Axle, Beacon Roofing, Cardtronics, Chesapeake Energy, Denbury Resources, Expedia, Goodyear and Trimble.

Mr. Burns has been cited as one of the country’s leading practitioners in capital markets law for over a decade by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 US, IFLR1000 and The Best Lawyers in America. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 US for his work in mergers and acquisitions and for his transactional work in the telecoms and broadcast industry. Mr. Burns’s work was also featured by the Financial Times in its annual FT North America Innovative Lawyers 2014 report.

Mr. Burns was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received a B.B.A. with distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 and a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990, where he was named to the Chancellor’s honor society and was an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. Mr. Burns currently serves as a Trustee of The University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Mr. Burns joined Cravath in 1990 and was elected a partner in 1997.

Mr. Burns is admitted only in New York.

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+1 (212) 474-3700