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Cravath Elects First Female Leader In Nearly 200 Years

On Thursday, Cravath, Swaine & Moore announced that it had elected Faiza Saeed as its next presiding partner. She'll be the first woman to head the firm since it was founded in 1819.


Faiza's term as Cravath's 16th presiding partner begins Jan. 1, 2017 when she takes the reins from Allen Parker; until then, she'll serve as deputy presiding partner.

A UC Berkeley and Harvard Law grad, Faiza joined Cravath straight out of law school in '91. She's co-headed its M&A practice since '13, recently working on matters such as advising on Comcast's pending $4.1B acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, Roche's $8.9B acquisition of Intermune, and Berkshire Hathaway's $37B acquisition of Precision Castparts. Other clients have included Time Warner, Morgan Stanley, Yahoo and Starbucks.


Faiza holds a slew of honors, among them being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos), one of “Wall Street’s 100 Masters of the New Universe" by the New York Times, and three times a "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer.

It's been a notable year for Cravath. In June, the law firm was the market leader in announcing a salary bump for associates (putting first-year salaries at $180k), which it implemented starting July 1. The raise is the first in the legal industry since 2007, and has been followed by many top law firms.

Related Topics: Cravath, Faiza Saeed, Allen Parker