Our M&A and Governance chapters showcase 1359 practitioners who excel in domestic and cross-border transactions across an enormous array of industries and sectors. We also list individual handling shareholder activism, takeover defence, regulatory compliance and other issues regularly affecting major companies.
The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who’s Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Deborah Janssens is “one of the leading dealmakers in M&A and finance”. Peers praise her “ability to read situations quickly and provide strategic advice”.
Stephan Waldhausen wins acclaim as “a key corporate partner of the Düsseldorf market”.
Julian Long is widely recommended as one of the world’s leading M&A partners for his international M&A and governance practice, which spans numerous industry sectors.
Christoph Seibt is described as “one of the most knowledgeable corporate lawyers in the German market”.
Claire Wills offers in-depth corporate governance and M&A experience with a focus on the finance sector.
Willibald Plesser is recognised as “an M&A veteran in Austria”, and “a well-respected and an outstanding lawyer” in the market.
Hervé Pisani is a go-to M&A and corporate lawyer with a strong reputation for handling complex deals in the energy sector.
Arend von Riegen possesses considerable expertise in complex and high-value M&A transactions in France and internationally.
Dirk Meeus is “the top corporate lawyer in Belgium” according to an impressed source, a view reflected in his selection as a Global Elite Thought Leader for corporate governance.
Stephen Lloyd is a go-to lawyer for cross-border transactions, as well as private equity matters.
Hans Kets has an “excellent reputation” for his breadth of expertise in transactions spanning private, public and joint ventures.
Nilufer von Bismarck has in-depth experience in public and private M&A transactions, as well as excellent knowledge of the Indian market.
Global Elite Thought Leader Andy Ryde is a titan in the field who stands out for his versatility across all types of corporate acquisitions, dispositions and merger work. He recently acted for DS Smith in the sale of its plastics arm to Olympus Partners.
Senior partner Steve Cooke “obviously is great”, laud peers who rate the strength of his M&A practice.
John Matson is “an excellent lawyer” who shows “a high level of technical knowledge” and is “really admired”.
Cian McCourt is highly adept in all aspects of M&A work, including high-value and complex domestic and cross-border transactions.
Brian O’Gorman is a go-to lawyer for M&A within the corporate finance and private equity markets.
Christian Lundgren is lauded by respondents as “a brilliant technician who can handle large and complicated transactions”.
Jørgen Kjergaard Madsen offers corporations in the financial sector extensive expertise in M&A and private equity transactions.
Jens Steen Jensen is acclaimed for his outstanding knowledge of the financial sector and regularly advises institutions on M&A matters.
Marianne Philip is a renowned M&A lawyer with an excellent track record advising financial clients on transactions.
Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain is praised by peers as a “commercially oriented” lawyer with a great ability to “build good working relationships”.
Maximilian Schiessl comes recommended as “a very experienced lawyer for public M&A matters”.
Emanuel Strehle is a standout lawyer with extensive experience advising corporations in sectors including healthcare, industry and telecoms on acquisitions and other transactions.
Daniel Daeniker is an “outstanding lawyer” with a “broad M&A practice” including corporate governance matters.
Heinz Schärer is a seasoned expert in the M&A space with “excellent legal knowledge combined with excellent business understanding”.
Frank Gerhard secures extensive endorsements for his “pragmatic, solution-oriented practice that always delivers alternatives”. Clients effuse that he “immediately adds value to all issues we need his advice for”.
Dieter Gericke is highlighted for his “excellent business acumen” as well as his “profound expertise” and “skill in difficult negotiations”.
Other Leading individuals
Christian Herbst with Schoenherr Attorneys at Law comes highly recommended for his international transactions expertise.
Thomas Schirmer at Binder Grösswang is recognised by peers as “a strong and established M&A practitioner in the market”, as well as “a great guy and lawyer”.
Edith Hlawati at Cerha Hempel Rechtsanwälte is regarded as “a leading governance lawyer in the Austrian market”.
Sandrine Hirsch with Simont Braun achieves Global Elite Thought Leader status this year. She is highly commended by clients for her “outstanding knowledge of the situation and needs of the business”, and “the simplicity of her legal solutions”.
Peter Callens at Loyens & Loeff is highlighted as “a top corporate governance lawyer” according to impressed sources.
Dirk Van Gerven of NautaDutilh is a “leading governance lawyer” and is recommended by peers for his “excellent cooperation” on mandates.
Xavier Dieux at Willkie Farr & Gallagher is a go-to lawyer thanks to his extensive corporate governance expertise.
Charles Jacobs at Linklaters is one of the most prominent names in the UK legal sector. He has deep experience in public and private M&A transactions, particularly in the mining sector.
James Palmer with Herbert Smith Freehills has an excellent track record handling high-value transactions, and is also a guru on governance issues.
Charles Penney at Addleshaw Goddard is a well-respected and long-standing London-based practitioner with deep corporate finance and M&A expertise.
Philip Cheveley at Travers Smith stands out as “a first-rate legal mind” and a “problem-solver who manages to be gracious at the same time”.
Andrew Gillen continues to be highly commended by leading international peers for his impressive M&A and corporate governance practice.
Charles Martin at Macfarlanes is a seasoned expert in the M&A and private equity space and is widely regarded as one of the best in the UK.
Thomas Schulz at Noerr is commended for his “excellent legal knowledge” and “solution-orientated” approach.
Yvon Dreano at Jeantet AARPI is renowned for his M&A and governance expertise within the French market.
Global Elite Thought Leader Nadège Nguyen at Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI is distinguished for her impressive M&A and corporate governance expertise, which spans domestic and cross-border transactions.
Youssef Djehane at BDGS Associés is commended for his “excellent knowledge of the French market” as well as his “ability to quickly familiarise himself with the complexities of the case”.
Christian Cascante with Gleiss Lutz “has a very good reputation” according to impressed sources.
Tobias Bürgers at Noerr is a well-known M&A and corporate governance lawyer who comes highly recommended for the strength of his practice.
Gerald Reger is widely commended for his extensive expertise in international M&A transactions.
Christian Pleister is lauded by peers around the world for his leading M&A and private equity work.
Mattia Colonnelli de Gasperis of Colonnelli de Gasperis Studio Legale is singled out by respondents as “the go-to M&A lawyer in Italy” who peers “recommend without hesitation”.
Francesco Gianni of Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners is a “top player in the M&A market” in Italy and internationally.
Luca Fossati at Chiomenti is “a well-known M&A lawyer” with particular knowledge of the media and telecommunications sectors.
Francesco Tedeschini is recommended for his considerable expertise in corporate and M&A transactions within Italy and abroad.
Vittorio Tadei impresses peers with his knowledge of M&A and corporate governance law.
Irmantas Norkus at COBALT is recognised for his experience in M&A transactions which spans more than 20 years.
Guy Harles at Arendt & Medernach is one of Luxembourg’s most celebrated lawyers and is highly endorsed by peers for his leading international M&A and arbitration practice.
Paul Cronheim at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is a renowned name in the Dutch market for his skilful handling of public takeovers and acquisitions.
Paulo Olavo Cunha at VdA - Vieira de Almeida & Associados is highlighted for his outstanding corporate governance practice, including his handling of restructuring matters.
Ezra Davids at Bowmans is “a leading lawyer” who is acclaimed for his outstanding expertise in M&A as well as corporate governance.
Christian Hoedl at Uría Menéndez receives accolades for his broad-ranging M&A, joint ventures and corporate governance expertise.
Richard Silberstein at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is endorsed by international peers for his M&A, corporate governance and foreign investment experience.
Erik Sjöman at Advokatfirman Vinge is “well regarded” as “one of Sweden’s leading M&A lawyers”.
Christina Kokko wins acclaim for being “very professional, responsive” as well as her unerring ability to “focus on the right stuff”.
Global Elite Thought Leader Rolf Watter at Bär & Karrer is considered an “outstanding lawyer” with deep expertise in M&A law.
Christoph Neeracher is praised by commentators as “a strong dealmaker” with a track record for excellent private M&A work.
Hans-Jakob Diem with Lenz & Staehelin is considered “very knowledgeable, practical and solution-orientated”.
Rudolf Tschäni is a seasoned expert who stands out for his excellent “M&A and public takeover work”. He is also widely commended for his skilful handling of an array of corporate governance scenarios.
United Arab Emirates
Amjad Ali Khan of Afridi & Angell is a go-to lawyer for corporate governance, acquisitions and private equity matters in the Middle East.
Thought Leaders Global Elite
David Katz achieves Global Elite Thought Leader status once again this year. He is considered “number one” by peers for the strength of his practice, a judgement backed up by his presence on numerous market-defining deals.
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.
Andrew Nussbaum is a go-to lawyer for mergers, acquisitions and private equity transactions. He is widely regarded as a top-quality practitioner in the New York market.
Martin Lipton is commended for his deep and varied knowledge of M&A transactions and strategies.
Peter Allan Atkins has an excellent track record handling an array of corporate transactions, as well as corporate governance matters. Among his major recent deals was advising Worldpay on its merger with FIS.
Eileen Nugent remains a household name among the NY corporate bar, commended for her breadth of experience across public and private transactions.
Stephen Arcano is acclaimed as “one of the best” in the market for his work with major corporations and his experience on high-value transactions.
Michael Gans is a “terrific lawyer” with a wealth of international and domestic transaction expertise, including high-profile Canadian transactions.
Chris Hewat offers deep expertise in technology sector-related M&A and private equity transactions.
Ross Bentley is cited as “an excellent opposing counsel” who is “highly knowledgeable in his field”.
Jeffrey Lloyd stands out for his expertise across corporate governance and M&A, with sources noting the “practicality of his advice” as a major strength of his practice.
Srinivas Raju receives praise for the strength of his domestic practice which sees him regularly advising corporations on complex acquisitions.
C Stephen Bigler is “an excellent attorney” who is commended for his vast experience in corporate governance and transactional matters.
Mark Gentile is a “top lawyer” recognised for his leading Delaware corporate governance and M&A practice.
Gregory Williams is a regular adviser on complex corporate litigation, including merger disputes.
Faiza Saeed is highly respected for her deep expertise in high-value and complex M&A transactions across industry sectors, including media and technology.
Mark Greene is considered a “first-class lawyer” with impressive insight into international M&A, corporate governance and private equity matters.
Damien Zoubek specialises in high-value transactions in an array of sectors, as well as distressed M&A.
Robert Townsend III is a celebrated M&A lawyer with deep and varied expertise in a variety of transactions and corporate governance matters. He recently represented Macquarie Infrastructure Partners in the acquisition by a subsidiary of Cincinnati Bell for around $2.9 billion.
Rita-Anne O’Neill is a go-to lawyer for complex M&A matters in connection with financial, healthcare and technological sectors.
Joseph Frumkin is a leading attorney with an excellent track record handling cross-border transactions and corporate governance matters.
Stephen Kotran is distinguished as a sought-after lawyer for his expertise in negotiating complex acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.
Frank Aquila is a renowned practitioner who is highlighted for his global transaction expertise.
Neel Lemon offers in-depth experience in M&A transactions to both public and private companies.
Stephen Massad’s strength lies in merger and acquisitions, as well as finance transactions, in sectors including energy and chemicals.
Other Leading individuals
Global Elite Thought Leader Brian Pukier with Stikeman Elliott is “a leading M&A lawyer” whose strength lies in cross-border transactions.
Edward Waitzer is justifiably lauded by peers for his much-respected Canadian M&A and corporate governance practice.
William Braithwaite is highly regarded as “a senior statesman” thanks to his deep expertise in cross-border mergers.
Vincent Mercier with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg is a “very well-known name in the market”, viewed by peers as one of the best corporate lawyers around, as reflected in his Global Elite Thought Leader status.
Patricia Olasker is a “seasoned practitioner” and a go-to for numerous major Canadian corporations.
Neill May with Goodmans receives accolades for his work handling hostile takeovers and cross-border acquisitions.
Craig Menden with Willkie Farr & Gallagher is a “terrific lawyer” with over 25 years of M&A experience.
Scott Barshay at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is well versed in high-value M&A and corporate governance issues.
Keith Flaum at Hogan Lovells US is considered a go-to by technology companies around the world for his leading expertise in M&A matters.
Richard Climan is an “excellent M&A lawyer” with deep expertise in the life sciences and technology sectors.
Patricia Vella with Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell is a coveted name for transactional matters, as well as a leading corporate governance practitioner.
Glenn West of Weil Gotshal & Manges is one of the best-known and most highly skilled corporate lawyers in Texas, having worked on premier deals in energy, aviation and healthcare, among other sectors.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Audrey Chen is a highly prominent name in the Chinese market distinguished for her leading work in domestic and international transactions.
David Liu possesses considerable experience in Chinese M&A and financing.
The strength of Philippa Stone’s superb practice lies in public M&A transactions and corporate governance advisory work.
Rebecca Maslen-Stannage is a “great M&A practitioner” who stands out for her international transactions experience.
Nicola Yeomans is commended for her private equity and cross-border acquisitions expertise.
David Friedlander is widely commended as a “standout name” in the public M&A space.
Tim Bednall is internationally recognised for the strength of his M&A and capital markets practice.
Xu Ping is a “great lawyer” with a wealth of expertise in cross-border transactions.
Other Leading individuals
Andrew Walker with Clayton Utz is a top-quality name who is well regarded for his work in corporate governance and M&A matters.
Simon Truskett is recognised for his “comprehensive expertise” in governance and transactions, gained over a career spanning more than 30 years.
Costas Condoleon at Gilbert + Tobin is a leading Australian lawyer who offers sought-after expertise in M&A transactions. He recently advised Ruralco Holdings in connection with its takeover by Nutrien in a A$469 million deal.
Craig Henderson with Allens is recognised as Global Elite Thought Leader for his exceptional corporate governance advice and experience across the transactional space.
Global Elite Thought Leader Zia Mody at AZB & Partners is an “icon in the Indian legal industry” according to impressed peers.
Ajay Bahl is regarded as “a legend in the M&A market” which is reflected in his Global Elite Thought Leader status.
Gautam Saha is “an excellent lawyer” who impresses peers with his transactional experience.
Shardul Shroff of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co is a leading lawyer with in-depth knowledge of corporate governance and M&A matters.
Raghubir Menon stands out as “pragmatic and business-focused” with a “strong knowledge of Indian law”.
Global Elite Thought Leader Cyril Shroff of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is often turned to for the most complex corporate matters in India. He offers nearly 40 years of experience in high-value M&A transactions.
Independent practitioner Somasekhar Sundaresan is singled out for his leading governance experience, and is “very well regarded in the securities space” according to sources.
Edward Freeman at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is “an accomplished lawyer” whose “user-friendly approach” makes him a favourite of clients.
Takashi Toichi at TMI Associates is a renowned lawyer with extensive corporate and M&A experience, widely considered one of Japan’s best.
David Quigg of Quigg Partners has a long track record of offering superb advice and representation in a wide range of M&A and corporate mandates.
Andrew Lim at Allen & Gledhill stands out for his all-round expertise in M&A and corporate governance matters.
Wai King Ng with WongPartnership is acclaimed as “a highly-rated M&A practitioner” by impressed sources.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Héctor Mairal is “a well-respected lawyer” who is highlighted for his substantial breadth of knowledge, which spans M&A, corporate governance and arbitration.
Hernan Slemenson is praised as “an excellent transactional lawyer” and “a very complete professional”.
Roberto Silva Jr’s strength lies in banking mergers, restructurings and private equity transactions.
Gabriel Ricardo Kuznietz is commended for his international M&A practice which covers Asia, Latin America and the US.
Paulo Frank Coelho da Rocha is “a standout name”, offering exceptional M&A, corporate governance, and private equity expertise.
José Setti Diaz is “a great business-oriented lawyer” who regularly advises on complex corporate governance issues.
Roberto Fortunati with Beccar Varela is an esteemed lawyer with deep experience in natural resources-related M&A transactions.
Horacio Esteban Beccar Varela is “an excellent practitioner” with “a highly professional approach”.
Global Elite Thought Leader Paulo Cezar Aragão of BMA - Barbosa Müssnich Aragão is a market-leading lawyer with transactional experience spanning industry sectors including mining, energy and aviation.
Francisco Antunes Maciel Müssnich is a renowned lawyer whose strength lies in hostile acquisitions and other complex transactions.
Alexandre Bertoldi at Pinheiro Neto Advogados is “strongly recommended” by peers for his first-rate Brazilian M&A practice.
Bruno Balduccini is highlighted for his considerable experience in domestic M&A transactions.
Ricardo Veirano of Veirano Advogados receives accolades for his go-to expertise in mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance.
Modesto Carvalhosa of Modesto Carvalhosa Advogados is “among the best corporate governance lawyers” in Brazil and “an excellent negotiator”.
João Ricardo de Azevedo Ribeiro with Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados is “an outstanding attorney” who is recognised for his leading corporate governance and M&A experience.
José María Eyzaguirre B of Claro y Cia is a “go-to corporate and M&A lawyer”, highlighted for his top negotiation skills.
Rodrigo Ochagavía is a distinguished practitioner credited with a fantastic Chilean M&A practice.
Jorge Carey of Carey is a legend in the Chilean corporate space whose knowledge and experience in complex M&A is near-unrivalled.
Francisco Ugarte is recognised for his outstanding track record handling high-value and international transactions.
Daniel Del Río at Basham Ringe y Correa SC achieves Global Elite Thought Leader status this year for his impressive corporate M&A and governance practice.