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

Publications

41981 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Review 2014 M&A Activity for The M&A Lawyer

41981
Articles 41932 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Write on Top Issues for Non-U.S. Buyers Contemplating Acquisitions in the U.S.

41932
Articles 41927 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Co-author Article in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation on Uses and Limitations of Poison Pills

41927
Publications 41904 Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer Co-author Article for Business Law Today

41904
Articles 41858 The Deal Pipeline Publishes Article on Poison Pills by Frank Aquila and Melissa Sawyer

41858
Articles 41624 Joe Frumkin, Frank Aquila and Glen Schleyer Author Article on Shareholder Activism for Practical Law Journal

News

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

Events

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

 
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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