James C Morphy joined Sullivan & Cromwell in 1979 after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College (BA, Magna Cum Laude, 1976) and Harvard Law School (JD, 1979). He was elected a partner of the firm in 1986 and is currently a member of the firm’s Management Committee after serving for over 10 years as Managing Partner of its Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Mr. Morphy provides M&A advice for a wide range of transactions, including both friendly and hostile acquisitions, representing buyers, sellers and special committees of independent directors.
Mr. Morphy is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by widely referenced legal guides and was recently named “2011 New York Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyer. He was named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer for advising the Independent Directors of First Data in connection with its buyout by KKR; named in “The Best of the Best” survey of the “best 25 M&A lawyers in the world” by International Financial Law Review; named one of the “15 Most Highly Regarded Individuals in Global M&A” by The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers; named in “The Best of the Best” by Legal Media Group; and is cited in a Corporate Board Member magazine article entitled “The 10 Best Lawyers to Have on Your Side.” He is also named as a leading corporate governance lawyer by An International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers (Law Business Research) and PLC Corporate Governance and Directors’ Duties Handbook.
His most recent major transactions involving publicly-traded corporations include: Barrick Gold in its acquisition of Equinox Minerals; Independent Directors and Board of AirTran in its acquisition by Southwest Airlines; BP on various corporate matters; Transactions Committee and Board of PepsiAmericas in its acquisition by PepsiCo; InBev in its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch; Microsoft in its bid for Yahoo!; Reed Elsevier in its acquisition of ChoicePoint; Director and Bancroft family member of Dow Jones in the News Corp merger; Ohio Casualty in its sale to Liberty Mutual; Medco in its acquisition of PolyMedica; Special Committee of Independent Directors of Albertsons in its acquisition by a consortium of investors; chairman and controlling stockholder of Aramark in its management-led LBO; Inco in the unsolicited offer by CVRD; Special Committee of Masonite in its leveraged buyout by KKR; HCA management in its leveraged buyout by KKR and others; John Hancock in its merger with Manulife Financial; and the chairman and controlling stockholders of West Corporation in its leveraged buyout by TH Lee.
Mr. Morphy is Co-Chairman of the Tulane Corporate Institute, Advisory Director of the Harvard Law Program on Corporate Governance, a guest lecturer on M&A at Harvard Law School and others, a member of the ABA Corporate Laws Committee and Task Force on Proxy Access.