Claire James is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department, where she focuses on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and general corporate matters. Claire advises clients, including public and private companies, on a broad range of transactional and corporate matters, including acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, capital raising transactions, securities law compliance and corporate governance.

Claire is recognized in Super Lawyers (2015–2023).


Prior to joining Willkie in 2019, Claire was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Claire previously served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Martin Glenn of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (2010–2011).

Claire is a member of the boards of directors for both The Center For Family Representation and Volunteers of Legal Services. She also serves as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Claire has advised on the following significant matters*:

  • iCON Infrastructure LLP in its strategic partnership with Royal Caribbean Group
  • Kaseya on its $6.2 billion acquisition of Datto
  • Famille C, the Courtin-Clarins family holding company and owner of the Clarins brand, in its acquisition of ILIA Beauty
  • Holley in its merger with SPAC Empower Ltd., in which Holley will become a publicly traded company
  • Arkema on the proposed divestment of its PMMA business to Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber
  • Sarissa Capital Acquisition Corp. in its $200 million SPAC initial public offering
  • E2open in its $2.57 billion combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CC Neuberger Principal Holdings I, in which E2open will become a publicly traded company
  • Stanley Capital on its acquisition of global specialty pharmaceutical company, Noden Pharma DAC
  • SIX in its partnership agreement with and investment in Omniex, an institutional trading platform provider for digital assets and cryptocurrencies
  • FFL Partners and its portfolio company EyeCare Partners in the sale of ECP to Partners Group
  • E2open, a portfolio company of Insight Partners, in its acquisition of global trade management software provider Amber Road for $425 million
  • GlaxoSmithKline in its $12.7 billion joint venture with Pfizer to combine their consumer health businesses
  • Royal Resources, an entity owned by funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, in the sale of its Eagle Ford Shale assets for a transaction value of $894 million to Osprey Energy Acquisition Corp., an energy-focused SPAC
  • Conyers Park Acquisition Corp. in its $900 million combination with Atkins Nutritionals Inc. to form The Simply Good Foods Company
  • Swift Transportation in its $6 billion stock-for-stock merger with Knight Transportation
  • Exela Technologies, formerly known as Quinpario Acquisition, in its $2.8 billion combination with SourceHOV and Novitex
  • Cerberus Capital Management in its acquisition of Staples’ European business
  • Sagent Pharmaceuticals on its approximately $750 million sale to Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical
  • Cerberus Capital Management in its carveout of Avon's North American business and strategic investment in Avon’s international business
  • Corning in connection with the unwinding of its 73-year-old Dow Corning joint venture with Dow Chemical in exchange for 100% of a newly formed corporation holding a 40% stake in Hemlock Semiconductor Group and approximately $4.8 billion in cash
  • Innophos Holdings, Inc. on its agreement with FrontFour Capital Group LLC to expand its board of directors
  • ICV Partners in its acquisition of SirsiDynix
  • Sensata Technologies in its $1 billion acquisition of Schrader International;
  • Endo Health Solutions in its $1.6 billion acquisition of Paladin Labs (Canada) through the formation of a new Irish holding company, Endo International plc
  • Funds managed by Kelso & Company and StoneRiver Group, L.P. in connection with the merger of Progressive Medical, Inc. and PMSI, Inc.
  • Colfax Corporation, a manufacturer of fluid handling products, in its $947 million acquisition of Victor Technologies Group Inc., a manufacturer of industrial equipment, from Irving Place Capital, a private equity firm
  • Gardner Denver, Inc. in its $3.9 billion acquisition by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.
  • LifeCare Holdings, Inc., an operator of long-term acute care hospitals, and its debtor affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
  • UniCredit in the dismissal of $60 billion in trebled RICO claims brought by the trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and dismissal of $4 billion in common law claims also asserted by the Madoff trustee

* Claire advised on some of these matters prior to joining to Willkie.



New York University School of Law, LLM (Tax), 2020 New York University School of Law, J.D., 2010 Johns Hopkins University, M.A., 2007 Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 2007

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