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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

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London, NEW YORK

Keith Hallam

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Work Department



Keith Hallam is a partner in Cravath’s Corporate Department. His practice primarily focuses on mergers and acquisitions and activist defense. Mr. Hallam also advises corporations and their directors on general corporate and governance matters. His clients have included AerCap, Affiliated Computer Services, Akorn, Alere, AmerisourceBergen, ATK, Avon, Banco Santander, Biogen, Brunswick, Casey’s General Stores, Cincinnati Bell, Conduent, Delta Air Lines, Florida East Coast Railway, The Fresh Market, Hertz, IBM, JBS, Lender Processing Services, Martin Marietta, Naspers, NCR, Pilgrim’s Pride, Starwood Hotels, Unilever, UTi Worldwide and Xerox.

Mr. Hallam has also represented numerous companies and boards of directors in defending against activist hedge funds. Recent examples include representing ARIAD Pharmaceuticals in its settlement agreement with Sarissa Capital; Cheniere Energy in its settlement agreement with Carl Icahn; Hertz in the adoption of its shareholder rights plan in response to an activist investor reported to be Carl Icahn and in connection with investments by Corvex Management and Third Point; Hologic in the adoption of its shareholder rights plan, in its settlement agreement with Carl Icahn, and in connection with an investment by Relational Investors; Jones Apparel in its settlement agreement with Barington Capital; NCR in its settlement agreement with Mick McGuire and Marcato Capital; in its settlement agreement with Okumus Fund Management; and Xerox in its two settlement agreements with Carl Icahn.


Mr. Hallam joined Cravath in 2007 and became a partner in 2015.

Mr. Hallam was recognized for his work in mergers and acquisitions by The Legal 500 in 2016 and 2017 and by IFLR1000 in 2017 and 2018. He was also recognized for his transactional work in the technology industry by The Legal 500 in 2016.


Mr. Hallam received a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, where he was a senior editor of the Law Review.

Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

David Mercado’s relocation to Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s New York office from London will help further his already impressive Latin America practice. Working alongside colleagues in the firm’s top-tier New York M&A practice, he and the firm have achieved an impressive market share of cross-border deals involving Latin American entities. Over the years, Mexico and Brazil have been the firm’s primary markets, although it has also participated in considerable deal flow in Chile and Argentina. The firm also works with long-term client Banco Santander on a regular basis, with 2017 highlights including advice to Banco Santander Río on its acquisition of the onshore consumer credit card and consumer brokerage and retail banking businesses of Citigroup in Argentina. Moreover, it advised Florida East Coast Railways Holdings on its $2.1bn sale to GMéxico Transportes. Richard Hall and Keith Hallam are also regular advisers on deals involving Latin America.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Within: M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Despite its relatively small size compared to its tier one competitors, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a tremendous record in high-profile and complex deals, including transactions for existing and new clients. The M&A practice attracts an impressive number of deals, both at a domestic and international level, and across a variety of industries. Despite not having an extensive international network (its only offices are in New York and London), it continues to work on a multitude of cross-border deals. In 2017, it advised Johnson & Johnson on its $30bn acquisition of Switzerland-based Actelion, a deal which involved Actelion spinning-off its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into Idorsia, a newly created Swiss biopharmaceutical company; this was the largest transaction in Johnson & Johnson’s history. The firm continued to advise British American Tobacco on its landmark $97bn merger with Reynolds American, through the acquisition of the remaining 58% stake in the company. In other headline matters, it advised Unilever on the $143bn unsolicited offer from The Kraft Heinz Company to acquire the company; the proposal was subsequently withdrawn. It was also engaged by The Linde Group to advise on its pending $70bn merger of equals with Praxair. The firm’s ‘level of service is exceptional’ and it is ‘a cut above the rest’, according to one client. It ‘tailors guidance appropriately towards lawyers, executives and boards’ and ‘knows the law and business and how the two interact better than anyone’. The firm is awash with senior-level talent, including ‘phenomenal lawyer’ and presiding partner Faiza Saeed, Mark Greene, Richard Hall, Robert Townsend and Damien Zoubek, who ‘commands respect from a room’ and is ‘a real force in driving outcomes both legally and commercially’. George Schoen is an emerging name, having impressed with deals for major clients such as IBM. Thomas Dunn has ‘exceptional judgment’ and Erik Tavzel is also increasingly prominent, and Ting Chen, Aaron Gruber and Keith Hallam are among the next generation of top talent. Eric Schiele moved to Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Technology: transactions

Within: Next generation lawyers

Keith Hallam - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Within: Technology: transactions

With technology clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to blue-chip industry leaders, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a longstanding reputation for representing technology companies in their most significant transactions. The practice has acted for IBM in corporate matters for decades, and advised on its recent initial $3bn registered fixed- and floating-rate notes offering of IBM Credit. Other key deals included George Schoen advising Scientific Games Corporation on its acquisition of NYX Gaming Group. The team also advised the strategic review committee of the board of directors of Yahoo! on the $4.48bn sale of Yahoo!’s operating business to Verizon Communications; and acted for Xerox Corporation in its spin-off of Conduent, the world’s largest provider of diversified business process services. David Kappos leads the firm’s IP work; and Keith Hallam is also highly regarded.

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