Shearman & Sterling’s Eliza Swann, a New York-based partner in the M&A group, was featured as a "Voice of Experience" on The Glass Hammer, an online community designed for women executives in financial services, law and business.
The profile recounts how Swann ended up practicing in the M&A group by chance after clerking for the Delaware Supreme Court, a natural launching pad for a corporate law career. “I wanted to go to law school for as long as I can remember, but ending up on the M&A team at Shearman & Sterling was a bit of an accident. I had never considered a business transactional type of career,” she said. As an M&A lawyer, Swann has worked on several of the highest-profile M&A transactions in the world, including Liberty Global’s $23.3 billion acquisition of Virgin Media last year.
Swann relates that some of her favorite transactions have been those involving board special committees. “I enjoy providing guidance to directors in these situations—ensuring that they are thinking about all the right things and making them feel more comfortable in the process. It’s some of the most interesting and fulfilling work that I do,” she said.
Gender diversity is very important to her, and she applauds Shearman & Sterling for the firm’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Swann said, “I’m very happy and proud to be at a firm that is this committed—across the board and at the highest levels—to addressing the issue.”
Giving back to the local community is also a priority for Swann, and she serves on the board of the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School and on the board of Appleseed, a nonprofit network of public interest justice centers. “This work is very meaningful to me. I can use my expertise to advise on legal matters for two things I’m very interested in: public education and addressing inequalities,” she told The Glass Hammer.