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W&L Alumnae Recognized for M&A Work Three Washington and Lee alumnae and lawyers, two from the law school and one from the college, have been recognized for their work in the legal field of mergers and acquisitions.

mapanel W&L Alumnae Recognized for M&A WorkMelissa Sawyer, Lizanne Thomas and Nanette Heide

Three Washington and Lee alumnae and lawyers, two from the law school and one from the college, have been recognized for their work in the legal field of mergers and acquisitions.

Lizanne Thomas ’82L and Melissa Sawyer ’97 were recognized in Deal magazine’s top 20 list of women lawyers and bankers in M&A.

Sawyer, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell and co-head of the firm’s corporate governance and activism practice, was noted for her work on several multi-billion dollar deals, including UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s acquisition of DaVita Medical Group. Sawyer told The Deal that she was bitten by the M&A bug while working as a summer associate for S&C. She returned to the firm following her graduation from UVA Law to build her practice and now teaches a practicum on the subject at Columbia Law School.

Thomas, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and partner in charge for the U.S. southern region for the global law firm Jones Day, was cited for her work on Knauf Gips KG’s acquisition of USG Corp. for $7 billion, among other deals. Thomas received her undergraduate degree at Furman University before attending W&L Law. She told the magazine that her initial interest in antitrust law, unpopular in the Reagan era, turned towards corporate law as she developed her practice. “I am never bored. The work is meaningful and fascinating.”

Another W&L Law alumna, Nanette Heide ’90L, was named to Mergers & Acquisitions’ list of Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A for the second consecutive year.

Heide is a partner at Duane Morris and was recently named as co-head of the firm’s Private Equity division of the Corporate Practice Group. She is the co-founder of Exponent: Raising Women Dealmakers to a New Power. She told M&A that Exponent was created “to provide a new platform where women in the finance ecosystem could come together to exchange ideas, information and introductions.” She is also the member of the Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Committee of the International Bar Association.

Heide’s complete interview with M&A is available online.