Originally published: http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/news/752
New York attorney elected chairperson of an honorary organization of legal professionals
Michael H. Byowitz, a New York attorney specializing in antitrust and competition law, has been elected chair of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). Byowitz is of counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he has practiced for more than 30 years.
Established in 1955, The Fellows of the ABF is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the board of the ABF. The Fellows support the research of the ABF through annual contributions and sponsor seminars and events on the law, legal processes and the laws impact on society.
Byowitz will lead the Fellows for the next year, alongside chair-elect, Rew R. Goodenow, of Reno, Nevada; secretary, Reginald Turner, of Detroit, Michigan; and immediate past chair, the Hon. Cara Lee T. Neville (Ret.), of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Mike is the perfect choice by virtue of his background as a leader in his firm and his exemplary leadership of the New York Fellows,” said Goodenow. “He will build on his prior exemplary, award-winning service to the Fellows as we implement new strategies to enhance our service to the profession and the public,” added Turner.
Byowitz has extensive experience advising multinational corporations on major domestic and international mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate takeovers. He has represented several major corporations before the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and states attorneys general in the United States. He has consulted on investigations by antitrust authorities in the European Union, United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Venezuela and many other countries. He frequently speaks on antitrust law and compliance in the United States and abroad, and has written extensively on antitrust issues. Byowitz has served as antitrust counsel for Valspar in its merger with Sherwin-Williams, United Technologies in its acquisition of Goodrich Corporation, Novartis in acquiring Alcon, and Maytag in its acquisition by Whirlpool, among many other prominent mergers. He is consistently ranked among the leading antitrust specialists in peer reviews including Global Competition Review, Who’s Who Legal, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and Chambers.
Byowitz has served as an officer of the Fellows for two years, in the positions of chair-elect and secretary, respectively. Prior to this, he served as co-chair of the New York chapter of the Fellows for six years, winning the Outstanding State Co-Chair Award in 2012. Byowitz is also an active member of the American Bar Association(ABA). He has served in the ABA House of Delegates for ten years—currently as a Delegate-at-Large, and previously as a representative for the ABA Section of International Law and the New York State Bar Association. He has been a member of the ABA Presidential Appointments Committee, Standing Committee on Membership, Task Force on Federal Pleading Standards, and House Committee on Issues of Significance to the Legal Profession. He was chair of the ABA Section of International Law in 2005-06, receiving its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and is an honorary lifetime member of the International Young Lawyers Association (AIJA). Byowitz has long been active in the New York City Bar Association, where he has served as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Council on International Affairs, the Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee, and the subcommittee that evaluated Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Before joining Wachtell Lipton in 1983, Byowitz was a senior trial attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and J.D. from New York University (NYU) School of Law, where he was an editor of the NYU Law Review and graduated in the Order of the Coif.
Byowitz said he looks forward to his term as chair of the Fellows. He plans to focus his attention on increasing membership in the organization and encouraging sustained contributions from Fellows who have reached their initial pledge. “The ABF does very important empirical research and the Fellows are increasingly being called upon to raise more substantial funds for the ABF for a number of reasons, including cuts in federal grant funding over time,” he said. “This is a very important challenge, and one that I hope and plan to meet.”