Francis J. Aquila: Lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Francis J. Aquila

Partner
New York,  NY  U.S.A.
Phone212-558-4048

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Experience & Credentials
 

Practice Areas

  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Corporate Governance
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Consumer & Retail
  • Restructuring
  • Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions
 
Contact InfoTelephone: 212-558-4048
Fax: 212-558-3588
http://www.sullcrom.com/lawyers/FrancisJ-Aquila/
 
University Columbia University, A.B., 1979
 
Law SchoolBrooklyn Law School, J.D., 1983
 
Admitted1984, New York
 
Biography

Frank Aquila has a broad multidisciplinary practice that includes extensive experience in negotiated and unsolicited mergers and acquisitions; activist and takeover defense; complex cross-border transactions; global joint ventures; and private equity transactions. He also regularly counsels boards of directors and board committees on corporate governance matters and crisis management. Mr. Aquila serves as a regular adviser to global leaders such as Amgen, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Avon, Diageo, International Airline Group, Navistar International and United Rentals.

Mr. Aquila has been repeatedly cited as one of the world’s leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers. He has been recognized as one of a small number of lawyers ranked by Chambers Global in Band 1 (their top tier), as an American Lawyer “ Dealmaker of the Year” and as a recipient of the Atlas Award as “ Global M&A Lawyer of the Year.” For his work in corporate governance, Mr. Aquila has been named by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) to their “ Directorship 100” - one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance and inside the boardroom. He is also a two-time winner of the Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2005 and 2010). In 2009 Mr. Aquila was selected by the American Bar Association as a “ Legal Rebel” - one of the profession’s 50 leading innovators. Law360 named him a Life Sciences MVP in 2013.

Mr. Aquila is a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Previously, Mr. Aquila was the co-managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell's General Practice Group and in that role he was responsible for almost 500 lawyers in 12 offices around the world. This group includes the Firm's corporate, financial institutions, securities, mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, real estate, leveraged finance, private equity, project finance, restructuring and intellectual property transactional practices.

Professional Activities and Community Involvement
Has chaired numerous Practising Law Institute's going private transactions conferences and regularly chairs a number of PLI's Hot Topic Briefings every year
Frequent author and commentator on M&A, corporate governance and related trends on Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg TV, CNBC and Fox Business and former columnist for Business Week
Board of Trustees (former Chair) of The NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education
Board of Directors of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)
Board of Directors of Dress for Success Worldwide
Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Law School
Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of New York and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Rankings and Recognitions
Law360 Life Sciences MVP (2013)
Recognized in The Legal 500 United States (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Listed in the IFLR1000 as a “ Leading Lawyer” (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
The Best of the Best USA 2013, Euromoney Legal Media Group
Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America (2009-2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
The American Lawyer, “ Dealmaker of the Year” (April 2009)
The American Lawyer, “ Dealmaker of the Week” (November 21, 2008 and September 3, 2013)
Recipient of the Atlas Award as the “ Global M&A Lawyer of the Year” in 2010
Selected by the American Bar Association in 2009 as a “ Legal Rebel” - one of the profession’s 50 leading innovators
Recognized as a leading M&A lawyer in The Lawyer, “ Transatlantic Elite” (2008, 2009)
Recipient of the Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2005, 2010)
Featured twice in The American Lawyer, “ Daddy’s Weekend on the Phone” (January 2002) and “ Supersonic Lawyers” (May 2004)
Featured in The Wall Street Journal, “ Business Trips Leave Little Time for Luxuries” (May 31, 1996)
Cited in Seeing the World Through Clients’ Eyes (Nisus Consulting) as an adviser who had “ really gone the extra mile and surpassed your expectations” (2004)

Mergers and Acquisitions
Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2004-2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2003-2004, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Guide to the World’s Leading Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers, Euromoney Legal Media Group/International Financial Law Review (2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
The Definitive Guide to Europe’s Leading Advisers: Are Your Advisers Giving You the Edge? (mergermarket)
PLC Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook (2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014)
PLC Global Counsel Mergers & Acquisitions Handbook, Practical Law Company (2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014)
PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, Practical Law Company (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
New York Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
The Best Lawyers in America (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
The International Who’s Who of Merger & Acquisition Lawyers (2010, 2011, 2012)

Corporate Governance
Directorship 100 The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
PLC Cross-border Directors’ Duties and Liabilities Handbook (2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014)
PLC Cross-border Corporate Governance Handbook (2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014)
New York Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity
The Best Lawyers in America (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Audio&Video

Frank Aquila Appeared on Bloomberg TV’s Market Makers

August 26, 2014

Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV’s In The Loop

August 22, 2014

Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg Radio’s Taking Stock

July 21, 2014

Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart

June 23, 2014

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A on CNBC's Closing Bell

May 28, 2014

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Activity on The Deal

May 21, 2014

Frank Aquila Interviewed on Bloomberg TV's Street Smart

May 19, 2014

Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV's Street Signs

May 12, 2014

Frank Aquila Comments on Current Dealmaking Activity and Business Confidence

April 25, 2014

Frank Aquila Discusses Global M&A Environment on Bloomberg

April 4, 2013

Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV

April 1, 2013

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Trends in 2013 on Bloomberg TV

February 19, 2013

Frank Aquila Reviews Factors Affecting M&A on Bloomberg TV

November 26, 2012

Frank Aquila Discusses Economic Impact on Deal Market on Bloomberg TV

September 19, 2012

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Outlook on The Deal Pipeline

July 18, 2012

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Market on Bloomberg Radio’s Taking Stock

June 28, 2012

Frank Aquila Interviewed by The Deal Pipeline on The Current State of Dealmaking

February 17, 2012

Frank Aquila Discusses Outlook for Retail and Beverage Industries in Two Deal.com Videos

July 2011

Frank Aquila Explores Prospects for M&A in 2011 in Bloomberg Law Interview

March 31, 2011

Frank Aquila Discusses Implications of Higher Oil Prices on M&A in The Street.com Interview

March 10, 2011

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Spike on Bloomberg TV

February 7, 2011

Frank Aquila Discusses Potential Impact of Political Turmoil in Egypt in Deal Video

February 1, 2011

Frank Aquila Discusses M&A in 2011 on Bloomberg TV

December 31, 2010

Frank Aquila Discusses Outlook for M&A Deals on Bloomberg TV

August 18, 2010

Frank Aquila Discusses Implications of Corporate Cash Reserves for Corporate Spending and M&A Activity on Bloomberg TV

July 28, 2010

Frank Aquila Discusses Hostile Bids (Reuters Insider)

May 27, 2010

“ Global M&A Outlook” (CNBC)

April 14, 2010

“ Will M&A Reignite the Stock Market?” (CNBC)

February 22, 2010

Frank Aquila Expects Increase in M&A Activity in 2010 (Bloomberg Radio)

January 9, 2010

“ Big Oil, Big Deal” (CNBC)

December 14, 2009

“ M&A Signs of Strength?” (CNBC)

November 3, 2009

Inside the M&A Pipeline (CNBC Power Lunch)

September 21, 2009

The Return of M&A (CNBC)

source: CNBC's Squawk on the Street September 1, 2009

Aquila Says Recent Deals Show Return to Consolidation (Bloomberg TV)

August 31, 2009

Tech Drives M&A Rebound

source: CNBC's Power Lunch July 28, 2009

Aquila Sees Strategic Transactions Across the Board (Bloomberg TV)

April 20, 2009

Analyze This: Dealmaking Picking Up?

source: CNBC's Fast Money March 9, 2009

Events
External Speaking Engagements July 10, 2014 PLI Briefing on Poison Pills and Shareholder Activism
External Speaking Engagements October 1, 2013 The M&A Advisor’s 2013 Emerging Leaders’summit

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements June 10, 2013 Practising Law Institute M&A Webcast
External Speaking Engagements March 21, 2013 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Investor Relations Insights Conference
External Speaking Engagements February 19, 2013 Preparing and Disclosing Financial Projections in Public M&A
External Speaking Engagements December 10, 2012 PLI Panel on FCPA Due Diligence
External Speaking Engagements November 30, 2012 Directors Roundtable Event

Los Angeles, California
External Speaking Engagements January 25, 2012 M&A Webinar for Thomson Reuters’s West LegalEd Center
External Speaking Engagements December 13, 2011 M&A Advisor Summit

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements November 29, 2011 PLI Webcast on Cross-Border Due Diligence Challenges
S&C Events November 7, 2011 S&C Hosts Conference for General Counsel and Other Senior In-House Counsel

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements October 13-14, 2011 8th Annual Institute on Corporate, Securities and Related Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements October 13, 2011 The Conference Board's Council of Senior International Attorneys
External Speaking Engagements October 4, 2011 Thomson Reuters Business Law Advisory Board

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements October 4, 2011 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Strategic Governance and Leadership Summit for Corporate Board Members

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements September 22, 2011 PLI's Annual Program on Mergers & Acquisitions

Chicago, Illinois
External Speaking Engagements July 20, 2011 Annual Life Sciences Collaboration and Acquisitions Conference

San Francisco, California
External Speaking Engagements March 3, 2011 Frank Aquila Discusses Poison Pills After “ Airgas” at PLI’s Hot Topic Briefing
External Speaking Engagements October 20, 2010 CPR Corporate Leadership Awards Dinner

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements October 12, 2010 Practising Law Institute Webcast on Poison Pills
External Speaking Engagements October 7-8, 2010 7th Annual Institute on Corporate, Securities, and Related Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions at Penn State

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements October 7, 2010 PLI’s 8th Annual Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements September 30, 2010 Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements September 23, 2010 Practising Law Institute’s Mergers and Acquisitions 2010: What You Need to Know Now

Chicago, Illinois
External Speaking Engagements June 22-23, 2010 S&C Co-sponsors Seminar with Corporate Board Member and NYSE Euronext

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements May 18, 2010 Key Lessons Learned from Unsolicited Bids
External Speaking Engagements March 25, 2010 Outstanding Directors Exchange New York Conference

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements February 25, 2010 Practising Law Institute's Going Private: Doing the Deal Right

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements January 7, 2010 Going Private: What You Need to Know to Get a Deal Done in Today’s Changing Environment
External Speaking Engagements October 8-9, 2009 Practising Law Institute's Mergers & Acquisitions 2009: What You Need to Know Now (San Francisco)

San Francisco, California
External Speaking Engagements September 24-25, 2009 Practising Law Institute's Mergers & Acquisitions 2009: What You Need to Know Now (Chicago)

Chicago, Illinois
External Speaking Engagements August 6, 2009 The Deal's Corporate Development Series
External Speaking Engagements June 4, 2009 PLI Hot Topic Briefing: Distressed Acquisitions Present Opportunities, but Risks Too: What You Need to Know Now

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements March 5, 2009 Practising Law Institute's Unsolicited Bids: Just Another Tool in the M&A Chest?

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements February 26, 2009 Practising Law Institute's Going Private: Doing It Right 2009

New York, New York
External Speaking Engagements February 28, 2008 Practising Law Institute's Going Private: Doing It Right 2008

New York, New York

News
Press Mentions August 26, 2014 Frank Aquila Appeared on Bloomberg TV’s Market Makers
Press Mentions August 22, 2014 Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV’s In The Loop
Press Mentions July 21, 2014 Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg Radio’s Taking Stock
Press Mentions June 23, 2014 Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart
Press Mentions May 28, 2014 Frank Aquila Discusses M&A on CNBC's Closing Bell
Press Mentions May 21, 2014 Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Activity on The Deal
Press Mentions May 19, 2014 Frank Aquila Interviewed on Bloomberg TV's Street Smart
Press Mentions May 12, 2014 Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV's Street Signs
Press Mentions May 9, 2014 Frank Aquila Discusses Cross-Border M&A on PBS's Nightly Business Report
Press Mentions April 25, 2014 Frank Aquila Comments on Current Dealmaking Activity and Business Confidence
Press Mentions May 20, 2013 Frank Aquila Interviewed on Bloomberg’s Taking Stock
Press Mentions April 4, 2013 Frank Aquila Discusses Global M&A Environment on Bloomberg
Press Mentions April 1, 2013 Frank Aquila Appears on Bloomberg TV
Press Mentions February 19, 2013 Frank Aquila Discusses M&A Trends in 2013 on Bloomberg TV
Press Mentions November 26, 2012 Frank Aquila Reviews Factors Affecting M&A on Bloomberg TV
Press Mentions October 29, 2012 Frank Aquila Discusses Effects of Hurricane Sandy on M&A Market
Press Mentions October 18, 2012 Frank Aquila Quoted in Financial Times Article on Japanese M&A Market
Press Mentions October 15, 2012 Frank Aquila Appears on CNBC's Street Signs
Press Mentions October 4, 2012

Publications
Articles December 8, 2014 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Review 2014 M&A Activity for The M&A Lawyer

December 8, 2014
Articles October 20, 2014 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Write on Top Issues for Non-U.S. Buyers Contemplating Acquisitions in the U.S.

October 20, 2014
Articles October 15, 2014 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Co-author Article in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation on Uses and Limitations of Poison Pills

October 15, 2014
Publications September 22, 2014 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Co-author Article for Business Law Today

September 22, 2014
Articles August 7, 2014 The Deal Pipeline Publishes Article on Poison Pills by Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer

August 7, 2014

 
Reported CasesSELECTED REPRESENTATIONS; InBev in its unsolicited acquisition of Anheuser-Busch; Anheuser-Busch InBev in its re-acquisition of Oriental Brewery Co. from KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners , its acquisition of Grupo Modelo , its sale of Compania Cervecera de Coahuila and a 50% interest in Crown to Constellation Brands , and the sale of Busch Entertainment; Amgen in acquisitions of Abgenix , BioVex , deCODE Genetics , Onyx and Micromet , and their collaborations with Kirin , Takeda and Watson Pharmaceuticals; International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) in its acquisition of Vueling , and British Airways in its combination with Iberia to form IAG and in its joint venture with American Airlines; Diageo in its acquisition of Seagram Wines and Spirits and its divestiture of Burger King; Avon Products in its acquisition of Silpada Designs and its divestiture of Avon Japan; United Rentals in its acquisitions of RSC Holdings and National Pump and its joint venture with Fluor; Pharmacia & Upjohn in its merger with Monsanto , and Upjohn in its earlier merger with Pharmacia; Collective Brands in its sale to a consortium including Wolverine Worldwide and in its acquisition of Stride Rite; EchoStar in its attempted acquisition of Hughes Electronics from General Motors; Western Resources in its hostile bids for ADT and KCP&L; Pillsbury in its merger with General Mills; Optimer Pharmaceuticals in its acquisition by Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Navistar International with respect to its agreements with Icahn Partners and MHR Fund Management
 
ISLN909400666
 

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Lee v. Pincus: Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Dismiss Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Board for Post-IPO Waiver of Lock-Up Restrictions But Dismisses Aiding and Abetting Claims Against Underwriters for Consenting to the Waiver
Francis J. Aquila,Audra D. Cohen,H. Rodgin Cohen,Mitchell S. Eitel,Brian T. Frawley, December 18, 2014
In an opinion issued on November 14, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery (C Bouchard) declined to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims against the directors of Zynga Inc. (“Zynga”) for waiving post-IPO lock-up restrictions in a manner that permitted certain stockholders, including...

In re KKR Financial Holdings LLC Shareholder Litigation: Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Claim that Manager Is a Controlling Stockholder; Applies Business Judgment Review to Merger Approved by Independent Board and Fully Informed Stockholders
Francis J. Aquila,Audra D. Cohen,H. Rodgin Cohen,Mitchell S. Eitel,Brian T. Frawley, November 14, 2014
In an October 14, 2014 decision on a motion to dismiss, the Delaware Court of Chancery (C Bouchard) held that business judgment review applied to breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted against directors in connection with a stock-for-stock sale of KKR Financial Holdings LLC (“KFN”) to...

Pontiac General Employees Retirement System v. Healthways, Inc.: Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Dismiss Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Directors and Aiding and Abetting Claims Against Lender in Connection with Dead Hand Change of Control Provision in Credit Agreement
Francis J. Aquila,Audra D. Cohen,H. Rodgin Cohen,Mitchell S. Eitel,John E. Estes, November 14, 2014
In a bench ruling issued on October 14, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery (VC Laster) declined to dismiss fiduciary duty claims against the directors of Healthways, Inc. (“Healthways”) and an aiding and abetting claim against SunTrust Bank (“SunTrust”), the lender...

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Office Information

Francis J. Aquila

125 Broad Street
New YorkNY 10004-2498




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