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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

767 5TH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10153, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 310 8000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 310 8007
Email:
Web:
www.weil.com

Michael Aiello

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

Career

Michael J. Aiello is Chairman of the Corporate Department and a member of Weil’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: Belmond, Dow, Goldman Sachs, Kroger, Ontario Teachers', Procter & Gamble, Sanofi, Scripps Networks Interactive, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Willis Towers Watson.

Education

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


United States: Antitrust

Merger control

Within: Merger control

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, the 'expertise and technical capabilities are extraordinary' and the team's 'practical approach to complex legal issues is always on target'. Clients have rated Jeff White in particular as an adviser who is 'beyond excellent'. In recent highlights, Steven Newborn collaborated with Brianne Kucerik to advise Scripps on its cash-and-stock acquisition by Discovery. Steven Bernstein and Jeffrey Perry were part of the team which assisted Walgreens Boots with its acquisition of 1,932 stores and related assets from Rite Aid. John Scribner works with Sanofi and recently oversaw a number of strategic transactions for the client alongside New York's corporate expert Michael Aiello. Other key clients include Allergan, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson and CoStar. Unless otherwise stated, attorneys are based in Washington DC.

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United States: Industry focus

Healthcare: life sciences

Within: Healthcare: life sciences

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP focuses on corporate matters and litigation with a ‘deep understanding of both the technology and the law’ and the ability to ‘plan appropriately and communicate effectively’. Practice co-head Elizabeth Weiswasser advised Sanofi on a bench trial in the client’s patent litigation infringement case against Merck, involving Sanofi’s insulin biologic blockbuster Lantus Solostar. Jeffrey Osterman, Michael Aiello and Jackie Cohen have been assisting Avista with its acquisition of regenerative medicine developer Organogenesis. Silicon Valley-based co-head Edward Reines and Derek Walter, who was made partner in 2018, are ‘the ultimate professionals’, and Michael Epstein is renowned for his technology and IP transaction expertise. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Within: Leading lawyers

Michael Aiello - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP may not have the volume of high-value deals compared to tier one firms, but it has 'a huge ability to deploy many people at the same time at the very last minute, meeting a high-level expectation in terms of competences and experiences, responding to sensitive questions and providing touchy legal opinion to help'. It is praised for its 'knowledge and professionalism' which is 'far beyond any of its peers' according to one client. Another stresses its 'best in-the-boardroom work' and its 'plain English credibility and excellent communication skills'.  It routinely impresses in hostile takeovers, activist defense work and distressed M&A. Among a number of complex and challenging transactions, it advised Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Property Partners, on the latter's $14.4bn billion acquisition of 66% of the common stock that it did not already own in GGP, the REIT that owns, develops, and operates regional shopping malls across the US. It also represented Atos, the French IT services company, on its $3.57bn acquisition of Syntel. Showcasing its expertise in hostile transactions, it advised athenahealth, the health services company, on its evaluation of a $6.46bn unsolicited takeover bid by Elliott Management. Much credit should go to corporate group chairman Michael Aiello, who has played an integral role in building the team's prominence in the market; he is 'one of the best outside lawyers in a boardroom environment' and has 'extremely effective communication skills' according to one client. At the same time, while the team suffered from a perceived thin layer of senior gravitas in the past, there are several names that have achieved greater recognition in recent years, such as Michael Lubowitz, Frederick Green, Howard Chatzinoff and James Griffin, who has transferred to the Dallas office from Silicon Valley; Griffin is 'excellent in understanding the issues, helping to analyze them, and then working to find solutions', in one instance 'in a very unique way to solve a very complicated public company acquisition'. Jackie Cohen is 'the deal maker',  'calm and discreet but energetic', 'pragmatic, honest and able to contradict where she believes the client could be wrong or where it needs a second opinion'; 'it is difficult to imagine a deal without her,' says one client. Matthew Gilroy is an emerging name. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Media and entertainment: transactional

Within: Media and entertainment: transactional

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has experience handling prominent transactions in the media and entertainment sector. The team boasts impressive corporate, M&A and financing expertise; it assisted AMC Entertainment with its $600m million issuance of senior unsecured convertible notes to Silver Lake, and advised Getty Images on the acquisition by the Getty family of all of the equity interests in Getty Images held by The Carlyle Group. Howard Chatzinoff, who heads the practice alongside Michael Lubowitz, acted for independent music publisher Carlin America in relation to its $245m sale to Round Hill Music. Other key practitioners include Michael Aiello, who advised Scripps Networks Interactive on its $14.6bn merger with Discovery Communications. All attorneys listed are based in New York.

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional

Within: Leading lawyers

Michael Aiello - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Within: Telecoms and broadcast: transactional

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's transaction team a notable track record of work for private equity clients, as well as on high-level public M&A. Private equity specialists Shayla Harlev and Brian Gingold, based in Boston and New York respectively, advised private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners on its $1bn acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from Oak Hill Capital Partners. Harlev also recently advised Berkshire Partners on the sale of its majority stake in Torres Unidas to Andean Tower Partners. Michael Aiello operates out of New York and has significant experience working with large financial advisers and asset managers; he is acting for JP Morgan Securities and Perella Weinberg Partners in connection with AT&T's Time Warner acquisition, and for Evercore partners in its financial advice to T-Mobile's committee of independent directors in connection with the proposed Sprint merger. Aiello also handles broadcast transactions, such as advising Scripps Networks on its $14.6bn merger with Discovery Communications. Another name to note is Frederick Green, who assisted Straight Path Communications in its $3.1bn sale to Verizon Communications. Transactional specialist Howard Chatzinoff leads the group alongside Michael Lubowitz, both of whom have long histories in market-shaping telecoms deals, across the wireline, wireless and broadcast spaces.

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