May 21, 2017
Michael J. Aiello, Chair of Weil’s Corporate Department, has been named an MVP for Mergers & Acquisitions by Law360 for his role advising on many high-profile deals in 2017, including Reynolds American’s $60.6 billion sale to British American Tobacco.
Law360’s profile also highlighted Mr. Aiello’s representation of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. in its $14.6 billion acquisition by Discovery Communications, as well as Procter & Gamble in a proxy dispute with activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management. With regard to the proxy dispute, Mr. Aiello noted that the importance of the dispute was evidenced by the fact that every new announcement in the battle impacted the markets in some way. “Whenever you’re working on something that moves the markets that way, it puts everyone under a lot of pressure,” Mr. Aiello said. “There is a tremendous amount of responsibility.”
When asked about what motivates him, Mr. Aiello highlighted his role teaching associates. “Some of them stay, some of them go and some of them do different things, but knowing that for many this is their first job and knowing you have a hand in helping them develop professionally and personally is very rewarding,” he explained.
With regard to advice he would provide to young lawyers, Mr. Aiello said it is important for attorneys to continue to learn at every stage of their development. “Immerse yourself in whatever it is you’re doing and become an expert in it,” he said. “People hire attorneys because they’re good, not because they’re good to go to lunch with. They hire them because they can trust them, they hire them because they have good judgment, they hire them because they have a boatload of experience which provides clients not only with the right answer, but with an insurance policy.”
Law360's MVPs are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters. A team of Law360 editors selected the 2017 MVP winners after reviewing more than 1,000 submissions.