ao link
Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
Menu
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Adam Emmerich is a titanic figure in the field who achieves Global Elite Thought Leader status for his extensive and pitch-perfect knowledge of M&A and corporate governance matters. 

Questions & Answers

Adam Emmerich focuses on M&A and corporate governance, and has led complex, bet-the-company transactions in a wide variety of industries throughout the US and globally. He also has extensive experience in takeover defence. Adam is consistently recognised as a leading lawyer and dealmaker by clients, peers and commentators, and is a frequent author and speaker on M&A and corporate governance. Adam lives with his wife in Manhattan, where they raised their two daughters and son.

How has the pandemic accelerated existing global M&A trends such as greater domestic consolidation and protectionist strategies?

When we last spoke, I mentioned that the future is unknowable. I didn’t forecast a repeat of the great financial crisis, but we knew it could happen. Older, and maybe a tiny smidge wiser, the world now recognises the seers among us who were begging us to prepare for a pandemic. As far as the effects of the pandemic on M&A, we’re still in early days, and current predictions about the future of the world, business, trade and M&A are hard to make, and likely to be wrong. The great trend of globalisation that swept over the world – not least the great Chinese economic miracle – was already entering a new phase before the pandemic tsunami overtook all of us this year. Whether we will come through this global emergency with renewed vigour and commitment to each other and the planet, or whether we will devolve into warring Hobbesian islands, remains an open question. The impact on M&A will follow behind the state of international relations and of our economic systems. All that said, despite protectionist rhetoric and political polarisation, M&A – including cross-border M&A – is far from at a standstill. We have seen large and very large deals during Q3 of 2020, and have every prospect of seeing more during the balance of the year and into 2021. 

What has been the most memorable deal you have worked on?

That’s a tough one! I can honestly say that I’ve loved virtually every deal that I’ve had the privilege of being entrusted to assist with. Two relationships I might mention, more as illustrations than favourites:

Wachtell Lipton has represented the Israeli group Iscar for many years, in a variety of transactions all over the world, including here in the US, and also in Japan and Korea, India, the EU, and in the group’s partnership and sale to Berkshire Hathaway. The companies and people on both sides of the relationship are amazing and unique, and it was an honour to have helped bring them together and be a part of the story. 

My grandfather Hugo Emmerich was also a lawyer, who, by force of historical circumstances, attended law school and qualified three times, at Heidelberg, Leiden and NYU. Considering the circumstances of his departure from Frankfurt in 1933, I take particular pleasure in our work for Deutsche Telekom, and T-Mobile here in the US, which has been very warm and long-standing, involving a number of notable transactions over the years, including the US$146 billion all-stock combination of T-Mobile and Sprint.

There is much work to do to increase fairness and harmony among and within nations, but my own experience has been that cross-border investment and M&A has been a positive force in bringing the world together and improving living standards for people around the globe. 

What key pieces of advice have you imparted to management and boards in an increasingly challenging M&A environment, including the changing landscape of corporate governance and shareholder activism, and rapidly evolving regulatory regimes?

This pandemic year has been marked by profound upheaval in governance expectations, and sharp focus on the purpose of the corporation and the role of the board in leading toward sustainable business success. No doubt, the evolution in governance standards, and the big ratchet upwards in the context of the pandemic, have meant much more, and harder, work for most boards. Our advice in this regard has been pretty straightforward, which is that companies, and society more broadly, need to do the work. Boards and management teams, in the US and around the world, now fully “get” that the world has changed, and have embraced all that is necessary to rise to the challenge. We have been a part of this process in partnership with our clients, and in our thought leadership in the area. 

What makes Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz stand out against its competitors?

We are somewhat different to most of the firms we work across the table from: very low associate-to-partner leverage, relatively small, fully lock-step, very hands-on at every level of the firm, with all competitive energy directed externally and everyone here zealously committed to working as a team to achieve the best possible results for clients in intensive and important situations. Every lawyer, from most senior partner to most junior associate, is taught to and does lead from the front, with no job too big or too small; each of us is fully devoted to clients of the firm and actually practising law and doing transactions. While so many firms are bigger than ever, with many groups of partners coming and going, we haven’t changed at all, for the better, I believe, in our highly focused specialisation, depth of experience and judgement, and in our structure. We are a small group of people practising at the highest level, with deal and governance experience unmatched in depth and variety; a global footprint of clients and deals; a single office, in which our relationships, teamwork and knowledge sharing are unparalleled, even in these days of Zoom and global connectivity. 

What advice would you offer to junior lawyers looking to pursue an M&A practice in the current climate?

Only get into the game if it floats your boat. The current climate isn’t all that relevant. There will continue to be exciting corporate transactions that play out over the arc of your career as there have been in free market economies since the industrial revolution. The real question is whether you will enjoy what you’re doing, be motivated and energised to give it your all, and thus be in the sweet spot of bringing your whole self to the game day after day, and year after year, growing and developing into a more experienced and energised lawyer, whom clients trust and value? 

We’ve talked before about how M&A is a fantastic mixture of things that I find interesting – an amazingly dynamic area of the law, and one that has and will continue to evolve immensely. M&A is about business. And people. M&A is all about the art of the possible, the real (and messy) world of capitalism and competition. And the reality of folks interacting in the crucible of negotiating – and sometimes litigating – to manoeuvre, posture, compromise and reach agreement. High pressure. High stakes. Plenty of opportunity to serve and make a difference. Just a fabulous show to be a part of. And the actual law bit, which is sort of a combination of a Rubik’s cube, coding, Where’s Waldo? and Jenga: complicated, technical agreements, instruments and structures, against a background of overlapping and intersecting legal and regulatory frameworks.

If that sounds interesting to you, including the 24/7, irregular, unpredictable beat of the whole thing, sign up, and don’t worry about the pandemic or the immediate future. If you’ve heard M&A lawyers make money, or travel the world, or some other ancillary thing about the practice that sounds like it might be nice, try to find something that you have a real passion for. 

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

If you go to my Twitter, (www.twitter.com/aoemmerich), you’ll see: father, husband, New Yorker, lawyer; I’ll stick with that.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Adam Emmerich is a titanic figure in the field who achieves Global Elite Thought Leader status for his extensive and pitch-perfect knowledge of M&A and corporate governance matters. 

Questions & Answers

Adam Emmerich focuses on M&A and corporate governance, and has led complex, bet-the-company transactions in a wide variety of industries throughout the US and globally. He also has extensive experience in takeover defence. Adam is consistently recognised as a leading lawyer and dealmaker by clients, peers and commentators, and is a frequent author and speaker on M&A and corporate governance. Adam lives with his wife in Manhattan, where they raised their two daughters and son.

How has the pandemic accelerated existing global M&A trends such as greater domestic consolidation and protectionist strategies?

When we last spoke, I mentioned that the future is unknowable. I didn’t forecast a repeat of the great financial crisis, but we knew it could happen. Older, and maybe a tiny smidge wiser, the world now recognises the seers among us who were begging us to prepare for a pandemic. As far as the effects of the pandemic on M&A, we’re still in early days, and current predictions about the future of the world, business, trade and M&A are hard to make, and likely to be wrong. The great trend of globalisation that swept over the world – not least the great Chinese economic miracle – was already entering a new phase before the pandemic tsunami overtook all of us this year. Whether we will come through this global emergency with renewed vigour and commitment to each other and the planet, or whether we will devolve into warring Hobbesian islands, remains an open question. The impact on M&A will follow behind the state of international relations and of our economic systems. All that said, M&A – including cross-border M&A – is far from at a standstill, and we have seen large and very large deals during Q3 of 2020, and have every prospect of seeing more during the balance of the year and into 2021. 

What has been the most memorable deal you have worked on?

That’s a tough one! I can honestly say that I’ve loved virtually every deal that I’ve had the privilege of being entrusted to assist with. Two relationships I might mention, more as illustrations than favourites:

Wachtell Lipton has represented the Israeli group Iscar for many years, in a variety of transactions all over the world, including here in the US, and also in Japan and Korea, India, the EU, and in the group’s partnership and sale to Berkshire Hathaway. The companies and people on both sides of the relationship are amazing and unique, and it was an honour to have helped bring them together and be a part of the story. 

My grandfather Hugo Emmerich was also a lawyer, who, by force of historical circumstances, attended law school and qualified three times, at Heidelberg, Leiden and NYU. Considering the circumstances of his departure from Frankfurt in 1933, I take particular pleasure in our work for Deutsche Telekom, and T-Mobile here in the US, which has been very warm and long-standing, involving a number of notable transactions over the years, including the US$146 billion all-stock combination of T-Mobile and Sprint.

There is much work to do to increase fairness and harmony among and within nations, but my own experience has been that cross-border investment and M&A has been a positive force in bringing the world together and improving living standards for people around the globe. 

What key pieces of advice have you imparted to management and boards in an increasingly challenging M&A environment, including the changing landscape of corporate governance and shareholder activism, and rapidly evolving regulatory regimes?

This pandemic year has been marked by profound upheaval in governance expectations, and sharp focus on the purpose of the corporation and the role of the board in leading toward sustainable business success. No doubt, the evolution in governance standards, and the big ratchet upwards in the context of the pandemic, have meant much more, and harder, work for most boards. Our advice in this regard has been pretty straightforward, which is that companies, and society more broadly, need to do the work. Boards and management teams, in the US and around the world, now fully “get” that the world has changed, and have embraced all that is necessary to rise to the challenge. We have been a part of this process in partnership with our clients, and in our thought leadership in the area. 

What makes Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz stand out against its competitors?

We are somewhat different to most of the firms we work across the table from: very low associate-to-partner leverage, relatively small, fully lock-step, very hands-on at every level of the firm, with all competitive energy directed externally and everyone here zealously committed to working as a team to achieve the best possible results for clients in intensive and important situations. Every lawyer, from most senior partner to most junior associate, is taught to and does lead from the front, with no job too big or too small; each of us is fully devoted to clients of the firm and actually practising law and doing transactions. While so many firms are bigger than ever, with many groups of partners coming and going, we haven’t changed at all, for the better, I believe, in our highly focused specialisation, depth of experience and judgement, and in our structure. We are a small group of people practising at the highest level, with deal and governance experience unmatched in depth and variety; a global footprint of clients and deals; a single office, in which the relationships, teamwork and knowledge sharing are unparalleled, even in these days of Zoom and global connectivity. 

What advice would you offer to junior lawyers looking to pursue an M&A practice in the current climate?

Only get into the game if it floats your boat. The current climate isn’t all that relevant. There will continue to be exciting corporate transactions that play out over the arc of your career as there have been in free market economies since the industrial revolution. The real question is will you enjoy what you’re doing, be motivated and energised to give it your all, and thus be in the sweet spot of bringing your whole self to the game day after day, and year after year, growing and developing into a more experienced and energised lawyer, whom clients trust and value? 

We’ve talked before about how M&A is a fantastic mixture of things that I find interesting – an amazingly dynamic area of the law, and one that has and will continue to evolve immensely. M&A is about business. And people. M&A is all about the art of the possible, the real (and messy) world of capitalism and competition. And the reality of folks interacting in the crucible of negotiating – and sometimes litigating – to manoeuvre, posture, compromise and reach agreement. High pressure. High stakes. Plenty of opportunity to serve and make a difference. Just a fabulous show to be a part of. And the actual law bit, which is sort of a combination of a Rubik’s cube, coding, Where’s Waldo? and Jenga: complicated, technical agreements, instruments and structures, against a background of overlapping and intersecting legal and regulatory frameworks.

If that sounds interesting to you, including the 24/7, irregular, unpredictable beat of the whole thing, sign up, and don’t worry about the pandemic or the immediate future. If you’ve heard M&A lawyers make money, or travel the world, or some other ancillary thing about the practice that sounds like it might be nice, try to find something that you have a real passion for. 

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

If you go to my Twitter, (www.twitter.com/aoemmerich), you’ll see: father, husband, New Yorker, lawyer; I’ll stick with that.

Global Leader

Corporate Governance 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Adam Emmerich draws plaudits for his extensive expertise and experience advising public and private corporations on governance issues.
 

Biography

Adam O Emmerich practises in Wachtell Lipton’s corporate department, focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law matters. His practice has included a broad and varied representation of public and private corporations and other entities in a variety of industries throughout the United States and globally, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures and financing transactions. He also has extensive experience in takeover defence. 

Adam was named Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2019 for his work with T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom in the $146 billion all-stock combination of T-Mobile and Sprint. Adam led the Wachtell Lipton teams for Tim Hortons in its $12.2 billion combination with Burger King Worldwide and Covidien plc in its $49.9 billion acquisition by Medtronic, which were named by The American Lawyer as 2015 Global M&A Deal of the Year: Canada and Global M&A Deal of the Year: Ireland.

Adam is recognised as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon, one of the world’s leading lawyers in the field of mergers and acquisitions by Chambers & Partners, an expert in M&A and corporate governance in the real estate field by Who’s Who Legal, and an expert both in M&A and in corporate governance by Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Expert Guides.

Among the other transactions in which Adam has taken a leading role are: Broadcom in its $147 billion proposal to acquire Qualcomm; Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA in the combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications at a $30 billion enterprise value, and Deutsche Telekom in its agreed $39 billion sale of T-Mobile to AT&T; the board of Wyeth in its $68 billion acquisition by Pfizer; Frutarom Industries in its $7.1 billion acquisition by International Flavors & Fragrances; Medtronic in its $6.1 billion sale of a portion of its patient monitoring and recovery division to Cardinal Health; Google in its participation in the Nortel patent auction; Creative Artists Agency in the investment by TPG Capital to acquire a controlling interest; Doosan Corporation in its acquisition of the assets of ClearEdge Power in a section 363 bankruptcy sale; Mallinckrodt in its $5.6 billion acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, its $1.4 billion acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, its $2.3 billion acquisition of Ikaria, its $1.325 billion acquisition of Therakos, and its $1.2 billion acquisition of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals; and WESCO International in its $4.5 billion acquisition of Anixter International and Hologic in its $1.65 billion acquisition of Cynosure.

After serving as a law clerk to Judge Abner J Mikva, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Adam joined the firm in 1986 and was named partner in 1991. He attended Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago, from which he received his JD with honours. While at the University of Chicago, Adam served as topics and comments editor of The University of Chicago Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was the recipient of an Olin Fellowship in law and economics. He is a frequent author and speaker on topics relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance, including at MIT’s Sloan Convocation and India’s CNBC-TV18.  

Adam is co-chair of the International Institute for the Study of Cross-Border M&A, co-chair of the advisory board of New York University’s REIT Center for the Study of Public Real Estate Companies, and a member of the American Law Institute. He has served as co-chair of the NYU Real Estate Institute’s Annual Symposium on REITs since its inception. He is a member of the corporate academic bridge group of the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School forum on corporate governance and financial regulation. Adam serves on the board of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, and as president of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He was previously a member of the board of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the visiting committee of the University of Chicago Law School, The Ramaz School and co-chair of the young lawyers division of the UJA-Federation in New York.
M&A 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Adam Emmerich offers significant experience in M&A transactions to both public and private companies.
 

Biography

Adam O Emmerich practises in Wachtell Lipton’s corporate department, focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law matters. His practice has included a broad and varied representation of public and private corporations and other entities in a variety of industries throughout the United States and globally, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures and financing transactions. He also has extensive experience in takeover defence. 

Adam was named Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2019 for his work with T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom in the $146 billion all-stock combination of T-Mobile and Sprint. Adam led the Wachtell Lipton teams for Tim Hortons in its $12.2 billion combination with Burger King Worldwide and Covidien plc in its $49.9 billion acquisition by Medtronic, which were named by The American Lawyer as 2015 Global M&A Deal of the Year: Canada and Global M&A Deal of the Year: Ireland.

Adam is recognised as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon, one of the world’s leading lawyers in the field of mergers and acquisitions by Chambers & Partners, an expert in M&A and corporate governance in the real estate field by Who’s Who Legal, and an expert both in M&A and in corporate governance by Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Expert Guides.

Among the other transactions in which Adam has taken a leading role are: Broadcom in its $147 billion proposal to acquire Qualcomm; Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA in the combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications at a $30 billion enterprise value, and Deutsche Telekom in its agreed $39 billion sale of T-Mobile to AT&T; the board of Wyeth in its $68 billion acquisition by Pfizer; Frutarom Industries in its $7.1 billion acquisition by International Flavors & Fragrances; Medtronic in its $6.1 billion sale of a portion of its patient monitoring and recovery division to Cardinal Health; Google in its participation in the Nortel patent auction; Creative Artists Agency in the investment by TPG Capital to acquire a controlling interest; Doosan Corporation in its acquisition of the assets of ClearEdge Power in a section 363 bankruptcy sale; Mallinckrodt in its $5.6 billion acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, its $1.4 billion acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, its $2.3 billion acquisition of Ikaria, its $1.325 billion acquisition of Therakos, and its $1.2 billion acquisition of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals; and WESCO International in its $4.5 billion acquisition of Anixter International and Hologic in its $1.65 billion acquisition of Cynosure.

After serving as a law clerk to Judge Abner J Mikva, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Adam joined the firm in 1986 and was named partner in 1991. He attended Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago, from which he received his JD with honours. While at the University of Chicago, Adam served as topics and comments editor of The University of Chicago Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was the recipient of an Olin Fellowship in law and economics. He is a frequent author and speaker on topics relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance, including at MIT’s Sloan Convocation and India’s CNBC-TV18.  

Adam is co-chair of the International Institute for the Study of Cross-Border M&A, co-chair of the advisory board of New York University’s REIT Center for the Study of Public Real Estate Companies, and a member of the American Law Institute. He has served as co-chair of the NYU Real Estate Institute’s Annual Symposium on REITs since its inception. He is a member of the corporate academic bridge group of the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School forum on corporate governance and financial regulation. Adam serves on the board of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, and as president of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He was previously a member of the board of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the visiting committee of the University of Chicago Law School, The Ramaz School and co-chair of the young lawyers division of the UJA-Federation in New York.
Real Estate 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Adam Emmerich is looked upon with enormous favour by sources who note he excels in handling high-value real estate M&A deals. 

Biography

Adam O Emmerich practises in Wachtell Lipton’s corporate department, focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law matters. His practice has included a broad and varied representation of public and private corporations and other entities in a variety of industries throughout the United States and globally, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures and financing transactions. He also has extensive experience in takeover defence. 

Adam was named Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2019 for his work with T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom in the $146 billion all-stock combination of T-Mobile and Sprint. Adam led the Wachtell Lipton teams for Tim Hortons in its $12.2 billion combination with Burger King Worldwide and Covidien plc in its $49.9 billion acquisition by Medtronic, which were named by The American Lawyer as 2015 Global M&A Deal of the Year: Canada and Global M&A Deal of the Year: Ireland.

Adam is recognised as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon, one of the world’s leading lawyers in the field of mergers and acquisitions by Chambers & Partners, an expert in M&A and corporate governance in the real estate field by Who’s Who Legal, and an expert both in M&A and in corporate governance by Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Expert Guides.

Among the other transactions in which Adam has taken a leading role are: Broadcom in its $147 billion proposal to acquire Qualcomm; Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA in the combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications at a $30 billion enterprise value, and Deutsche Telekom in its agreed $39 billion sale of T-Mobile to AT&T; the board of Wyeth in its $68 billion acquisition by Pfizer; Frutarom Industries in its $7.1 billion acquisition by International Flavors & Fragrances; Medtronic in its $6.1 billion sale of a portion of its patient monitoring and recovery division to Cardinal Health; Google in its participation in the Nortel patent auction; Creative Artists Agency in the investment by TPG Capital to acquire a controlling interest; Doosan Corporation in its acquisition of the assets of ClearEdge Power in a section 363 bankruptcy sale; Mallinckrodt in its $5.6 billion acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, its $1.4 billion acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, its $2.3 billion acquisition of Ikaria, its $1.325 billion acquisition of Therakos, and its $1.2 billion acquisition of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals; and WESCO International in its $4.5 billion acquisition of Anixter International and Hologic in its $1.65 billion acquisition of Cynosure.

After serving as a law clerk to Judge Abner J Mikva, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Adam joined the firm in 1986 and was named partner in 1991. He attended Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago, from which he received his JD with honours. While at the University of Chicago, Adam served as topics and comments editor of The University of Chicago Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was the recipient of an Olin Fellowship in law and economics. He is a frequent author and speaker on topics relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance, including at MIT’s Sloan Convocation and India’s CNBC-TV18.  

Adam is co-chair of the International Institute for the Study of Cross-Border M&A, co-chair of the advisory board of New York University’s REIT Center for the Study of Public Real Estate Companies, and a member of the American Law Institute. He has served as co-chair of the NYU Real Estate Institute’s Annual Symposium on REITs since its inception. He is a member of the corporate academic bridge group of the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School forum on corporate governance and financial regulation. Adam serves on the board of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, and as president of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He was previously a member of the board of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the visiting committee of the University of Chicago Law School, The Ramaz School and co-chair of the young lawyers division of the UJA-Federation in New York.

Awards won by Adam O Emmerich


Who's Who Legal Awards 2019


> M&A -
Lawyer of the year

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2021. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866