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When it comes to handling transactions, don’t talk to Faiza Saeed in millions of dollars, or even billions. Talk in hundreds of billions. And that’s only counting the mergers and acquisitions deals she has under her belt. Saeed, one of two female partners in Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s M&A group, has handled numerous billion-dollar deals, and counts Time Warner Inc., DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and DreamWorks LLC as regular clients. The deal that catapulted Saeed into the top M&A ranks was the merger of Time Warner and America Online. She served as co-lead counsel for Time Warner in the $165 billion deal. Following that, she was lead counsel for Vivendi in its $46 billion merger with Seagram and Canal+ Group to create media company Vivendi Universal S.A., and Lycos in its $12.5 billion merger with Terra Networks. “I’ve been fortunate being at a place like Cravath,” Saeed said. “We have had very interesting clients and deals to work on, and I’ve always enjoyed developing those relationships. I’ve had great opportunities.” Her latest big deal, the initial public offering of DreamWorks Animation, spun off to shareholders by DreamWorks LLC, which reached a market capitalization of $4.1 billion on its first day of trading, was a company she had seen grow from the beginning. As an associate right out of law school, Saeed lent a hand with legal work when the company was formed 10 years ago. “It was exciting to see them through the process and, 10 years later, also seeing how successful that IPO was,” Saeed said. “Seeing the day we listed on the New York Stock Exchange, it was very personal.” She is currently working on a follow-on offering for DreamWorks, and is in the midst of a few M&A deals, she said. Saeed has been with New York-based Cravath since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1991, first as a summer associate, then working her way up to equity partner. Mergers and acquisitions is an area that Saeed was interested in from the start of her career. In college, Saeed started out as a molecular biology major. She started taking economics classes and, finding it fascinating, shifted her studies toward business. By the time she went to law school, she wanted to be “in the business world and doing deals,” she said. Since she has been with Cravath, that conviction has only strengthened. “As a corporate associate you rotate through all the corporate practice areas, and by the time I was a midlevel it was a time when the M&A market was very hot,” she said. “I just really liked it. I like the strategizing that you go through in an M&A deal.” “Keeping your eye on what’s needed to win, in an M&A deal is important,” she continued. “Both sides need to feel like they’ve won, it’s not a question of keeping score. You have to make a lot of tough calls, and sometimes it’s giving your clients the advice they don’t want to hear but need to hear, in a way that doesn’t alienate the client, but allows you to be effective.” Saeed, a Northern California native, lives in New York City.

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