Howard L. Shecter is a senior mergers and acquisitions lawyer in Holland & Knight's New York and Philadelphia offices. Mr. Shecter focuses his practice on a variety of domestic and international business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions (negotiated and hostile), joint ventures and strategic alliances, as well as corporate governance issues and the negotiated resolution of business disputes.

Mr. Shecter is internationally recognized for his wide-ranging M&A experience and his extensive experience advising clients on corporate governance and board oversight matters. He lectures regularly at leading global conferences on issues related to M&A, corporate law and governance. Mr. Shecter was the founder and for 10 years served as chairman of the popular Practising Law Institute seminar on "Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company."

Mr. Shecter has frequently served as a board member for both public and private companies. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Venerable Holdings and Voya Insurance and Annuity Company, two portfolio companies of Apollo Global Management, and is Chairman of the audit committee of the latter. He served as a member of the three-person Executive Committee of the Board of Safeskin Corp. (NASDAQ), a medical exam glove manufacturer from its IPO until its $850 million sale to Kimberly-Clark. He served as Chairman of the Board of Harris Interactive (NASDAQ), a leading independent market research company, for several years until its 2014 sale to Nielsen Group. Previously, he served as lead director of a privately held investment management company with nearly $1 billion of assets under management, and currently serves on the advisory boards of several venture capital funds and as the designated board observer at Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ). Mr. Shecter has served as chairman and managing partner of a large international law firm and as head of the global corporate/transactional practice at that firm and one other.

Representative Experience

  • Served as counsel to the special committee of the board of directors of Caesars Entertainment Corp. in its $2.2 billion sale of four casino hotels to Caesars Growth Partners, its $7 billion merger with Caesars Acquisition Co. and the restructuring of $20 billion of Caesars' debt
  • Served as counsel to Sierra Health Services in its $2.6 billion sale to UnitedHealth Group
  • Served as counsel to CyberSource Corp. in its $2 billion acquisition by Visa Inc.
  • Served as counsel to Playtex Products in its $1.9 billion sale to Energizer Holdings
  • Served as counsel to Digital Insight Corp. in its $1.3 billion sale to Intuit Inc.
  • Counsel to Cascadian Therapeutics Inc. in its $615 million sale to Seattle Genetics
  • Served as counsel to management of SunGard Data Systems in its $11.3 billion leveraged buyout (LBO) by seven private equity firms led by Silver Lake Partners and KKR
  • Served as counsel to management of Freescale Semiconductor in its $17 billion LBO by a private equity consortium including The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Permira Funds and Texas Pacific Group
  • Served as counsel to management of Neiman Marcus in its $5.5 billion LBO by two private equity firms
  • Served as counsel to Union Pacific Resources Group in its $900 million initial public offering, in its $6.4 billion unilateral tender offer for Pennzoil Co., in its $3.5 billion acquisition (by consensual tender offer) of Norcen Energy Resources Ltd., and in its $10 billion merger with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (which ranked first in shareholder return among the 50 largest M&A deals that year)
  • Served as counsel to Ikon Office Solutions (formerly Alco Standard Corp.) in its spinoff of Unisource Worldwide, its $7 billion paper distribution business
  • Served as counsel to Hafslund Nycomed AS in its proposed $6 billion cross-border merger with IVAX Corp.
  • Served as counsel to the special committee of the board of directors of SFX Entertainment in its $4.4 billion merger with Clear Channel Communications
  • Served as counsel to the special committee of the board of directors of SFX Broadcasting, in its $2.1 billion sale to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst
  • Served as counsel to Private Capital Management in connection with its negotiations with Knight-Ridder to force sale of Knight-Ridder
  • Served as counsel to Securities Industry Association in its merger with the Bond Market Association
  • Served as counsel to National Discount Brokers Group in its $1 billion sale to Deutsche Bank AG
  • Served as counsel to Jefferies Group in its spinoff of Jefferies & Co., its investment banking and broker-dealer subsidiary
  • Served as counsel to financial advisers and board special committees in numerous merger and acquisition transactions
  • Served as counsel to General Electric Co. in several acquisition, divestiture and joint venture transactions
  • Served as counsel to Safeskin Corp. from initial public offering to the $850 million sale of company to Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • Served as counsel to Novell in several acquisitions and financing transactions
  • Served as counsel to The Sports Authority in its $800 million merger with Gart Sports Co.
  • Served as counsel to Consol Energy in its $900 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction
  • Served as counsel to Deb Shops in its $400 million sale to Lee Equity Partners


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.
  • Harvard College, A.B., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • University of Pennsylvania Law Alumni Society, President
  • The Harvard Club of Philadelphia, President
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Corporate Partners, Trustee
  • Community Legal Services, Director
  • Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Director
  • Philadelphia Bar Foundation, Trustee
  • University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Economics, Advisory Board
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Corporate Law, 1991-2018, 2020-2022; Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2021, 2022
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient for Career Achievements and Public Service, 2019
  • Who's Who in the World, 1990-2018
  • The American Lawyer magazine, Leading New York M&A Lawyers, 2002-2018
  • PLC Global Counsel, Leading M&A Lawyers Worldwide, 2003-2018
  • New York magazine, Mergers & Acquisitions Super Lawyers, 2005-2018