Michael F. O'Connor is Co-Chair of Williams & Connolly LLP’s Transactions and Business Counseling practice group. He has a diverse practice representing both corporations and individuals on a variety of matters. His primary areas of representation include mergers and acquisitions, corporate structuring and transactions, executive compensation and counseling, complex financial transactions, and commercial contract negotiations. His clients include large and small corporations, both public and private, as well as executives, journalists, public figures, and politicians, especially those transitioning to the private sector.
Recent corporate transactions include the refinancing of a major energy company, sale of a government relations business, design and implementation of an equity incentive plan for a consulting company, sale of a government contractor business, creation of an on-line education joint venture, the structuring of several new business ventures, including a major financial services joint venture, conversions of existing corporations into limited liability companies, structuring of start-up businesses in the services sector, and negotiation of commercial agreements and licensing arrangements.
Mr. O'Connor also assists many individuals in the negotiation of employment agreements, licensing arrangements, and book deals. He has represented, among others, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Alan Greenspan, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Oliver North, Bill Richardson, Arthur Levitt, Larry Summers and many former Senators, Congressmen and other government officials in the transition to the private sector and other business arrangements.
Born in Torrington, Connecticut, Mr. O’Connor grew up in Fishkill, New York, and graduated from the University of Virginia, cum laude, in 1986. He spent the next five years as a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer, serving in both London and Algiers. After receiving his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, Mr. O’Connor joined Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where he spent three years, focusing on complex financial transactions, international commercial contracting, securities transactions, and broker-dealer regulation. A fluent French speaker, Mr. O’Connor joined Williams & Connolly in 1997. His pro-bono work includes advising The Women’s Collective, a Washington, D.C. group that helps women with AIDS. He has previously served on the firm’s Hiring Committee twice.