Maurice M. Lefkort is a partner in the Corporate and Financial Services Department. Maurice has extensive experience in advising operating companies, private equity investors, activist investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and financial institutions in complex transactions that transform businesses. These transactions often take the form of mergers & acquisitions, private equity investments, and restructuring both in-court and out-of-court. With a broad range of experience across industries and practice types, Maurice is often called upon by clients to provide strategic legal advice when clients confront unique or difficult business and legal challenges. Maurice is the former Chairman of the Corporation Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and regularly publishes on legal developments. He also blogs on legal issues for Wharton Magazine.
Private Equity Investments
Private equity investments are among the most challenging transactions for business professionals. Both the investor and the portfolio company need to navigate complex business, legal and regulatory issues and properly align the economic incentives. Private equity investors and entrepreneurs regularly engage Maurice to help them make and structure successful private equity investments, grow those portfolio companies, and exit successfully. Maurice brings his broad experience and problem-solving approach to each transaction, In addition, he is able to marshal a dedicated team of skilled specialists to successfully resolve the many issues that must be addressed in order to achieve his client’s goals.
Merger & Acquisition Transactions
Maurice represents buyers, sellers and target companies in both public and private M&A transactions. M&A transactions require a complex blending of technical proficiency in acquisition agreements, knowledge of the latest developments in the law, and strategic insight into the competitive process. Both strategic and financial acquirers consult Maurice to assist them in winning competitive public and private auctions, which sometimes require a hostile approach, and sellers utilize his skill to help them achieve the best terms in disposition transactions. Maurice's experience encompasses a broad range of industries and he is supported by experts in the fields of tax, real estate, environment, employee benefits, anti-trust, and a wide variety of regulatory specialties, including insurance and communications.
The broad range of Maurice’s experience and his strategic insight has enabled him to use innovative techniques to help clients achieve their goals in many complex restructurings. He represented Altos Hornos de Mexico, the largest independent steel producer in Mexico, through a multi-year restructuring process, and led the negotiations with creditors. The representation led to a “preventive agreement” approved by the Mexican Court and recognized in a U.S. Chapter 15 proceeding. He led the Tranche C Lenders in their successful credit bid and acquisition of Delphi Automotive. Maurice was the lead outside corporate counsel and the architect of the plan of reorganization of Adelphia Communications Corporation, one of the largest corporate bankruptcies of its time, and was referred to in federal Bankruptcy Court as the “wizard” of the Adelphia plan.
Maurice represents investors in activist campaigns and proxy contests involving board representation, management and governance changes, capital allocation issues, corporate strategy and M&A transactions. His representation focuses on means of shareholder engagement and activism; sources of contention between shareholders and management; and the creation of value maximizing solutions.