The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Work +1 212 310 8000
Fax +1 212 310 8007

Michael Aiello

Work +1 212 310 8552
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP


Michael J. Aiello is Chairman of the Corporate Department and a member of the firm's Management Committee. Mr. Aiello regularly advises acquirors, targets, boards, special committees and investment banks in complex domestic and international negotiated and unsolicited merger and acquisition transactions across the most active sectors. His clients include: Aeropostale, American Realty Capital, Dow Chemical, Goldman Sachs, Herbalife, Kroger, Ontario Teachers', Procter & Gamble, Sanofi, Staples, Thomas H. Lee and Willis Group Holdings.


New York University (BA, 1991); Widener University (JD, 1994).

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+

Within: M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+

The ‘highly knowledgeable’ Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP provides ‘rapid response’ and ‘incisive advice’, and is ‘efficient and effective’. The team acts on a range of cross-border M&A, spin-offs and joint ventures for public and private companies. Head of department Michael Francies and Ian Hamilton handled the English law aspects of Reynolds American’s merger with British American Tobacco, with the transaction led by Michael Aiello in New York. James MacArthur advised CATS Management on the expansion of its midstream infrastructure business with the acquisition of a 65% interest in the Esmond Transportation System from Premier Oil, Centrica and Perenco. Other clients on the firm’s roster include General Electric, Owens Coming and Equiniti Group. Peter King left the firm in December 2017 to take up the position of legal director at HM Treasury.

[back to top]

United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Corporate governance

Within: Corporate governance

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s public company advisory group handles a range of work regarding public company securities, leadership changes and activist battles. Adé Heyliger, Michael Aiello and Sachin Kohli advised Procter & Gamble on a proxy contest instigated by Trian Partners. Ellen Odoner’s advice to public companies included advising Westinghouse Electric on the securities aspects of its Chapter 11 insolvency. P.J. Himelfarb advised Signet Jewelers on several governance issues, including welcoming a new CEO. Howard Dicker continues to advise Dow Chemical on governance and securities issues relating to its merger with DuPont. Lyuba Goltser is also a key contact. Heyliger and Himelfarb are based in Washington DC, but other named lawyers are located in New York.

[back to top]

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

Within: Leading lawyers

Michael Aiello - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is experienced handling large-cap and transformative deals as well as hostile takeovers, takeover defense and activism defense work. The team operates at ‘a very high level’, is ‘time efficient’ and ‘has an ability learn from past experiences’. ‘Billings are reasonable for the high level of service and expertise’, according to one client. The firm has one of the world’s leading restructuring and bankruptcy practices and, as a result, has a leading presence in distressed M&A deals and transactions linked to bankruptcies. In 2017, the firm advised Reynolds American’s transaction committee of the board of directors on the company’s $60.6bn sale to British American Tobacco, and assisted Scripps Networks Interactive with its $14.6bn merger with Discovery Communications. It also advised Procter & Gamble on a recent proxy contest with an activist investor. Corporate department chairman Michael Aiello is ‘practical’, ‘pragmatic’ and ‘has earned an enormous amount of respect’. Frederick Greenbrings level-headedness and business savvy that multiplies his legal expertise’, with one client suggesting that his attributes were integral to keeping an especially tense and vulnerable transaction on course. Howard Chatzinoff and Michael Lubowitz are also key names, and Jackie Cohen is ‘responsive, available, always calm with a very high level knowledge and experience’, and is ‘open minded and able to work on international transactions with an ability to manage all sorts of cultural expectations’. Matthew Gilroy is another emerging talent, and Marc Silberberg and Paul Wessel are praised by clients for their expertise in M&A-related tax and executive compensation respectively. All named partners are based in New York.

[back to top]

United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Media and entertainment

Within: Media and entertainment

A ‘top-notch name in the music space’, the New York-based team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP recently represented Pandora Media in a trial in which the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) set favorable sound recording royalty rates for the client, a decision which is being appealed by others in the music industry; and acted for Sirius XM in a music royalty rate setting proceeding before the CRB; Bruce Rich and Todd Larson led on both matters. Clients also praise Howard Chatzinoff, who is a key name for transactional work; the ‘excellentBenjamin Marks; Michael Aiello, who is advising Scripps Networks Interactive on its $15bn merger with Discovery Communications; and Yehudah Buchweitz, who is defending Showtime Networks in several putative class actions brought by customers who had paid to watch the ‘Fight of the Century’ but were unable to do so due to alleged insufficient bandwidth and server systems. Simon & Schuster, Alibaba Group and Univision are also clients.

[back to top]

Telecoms and broadcast: transactional

Within: Telecoms and broadcast: transactional

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’ New York-based M&A team is ‘knowledgeable about both public company deals and the industry’. Howard Chatzinoff jointly heads the practice and has worked on transactions on behalf of broadcasting, cable, programming, and telecoms companies. Fellow practice head Michael Lubowitz is experienced in M&A and private equity transactions in this space, and recently advised Starz on its $4.4bn sale to Lions Gate Entertainment. M&A partner Frederick Green is co-chair of the transactions practice and worked with Straight Path Communications on its proposed $3.1bn sale to Verizon. Private equity specialist Harvey Eisenberg assisted SoftBank with its $3.3bn acquisition of Fortress Investment Group. Michael Aiello is also a key figure, with a strong skill-set in M&A and divestitures; notable work highlights of his included advising JP Morgan Securities and Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisers to AT&T in relation to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, assisting Scripps Networks with its $14.6bn merger with Discovery, and advising Media General on its $4.6bn sale to Nexstar Broadcasting.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to