W. Hunter Holliday
For almost three decades, companies in a variety of industries have relied on Hunter to guide them through buying, selling and financing transactions and advise them on corporate governance and complex contract negotiations. Clients value his seasoned, business-focused perspective built on more than 250 M&A deals and financings valued at over $10 billion.
Hunter has almost three decades of experience advising clients on transactional and corporate matters. His clients range from new and emerging-growth companies to multinational corporations. His experience includes domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, strategic alliances, leveraged buyouts and joint ventures. Hunter is called upon for his expertise in corporate governance as well as for his experience negotiating and drafting complex commercial agreements in a wide array of industries, including financial services, chemicals, technology, textiles, manufacturing, security services, professional services, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.
Hunter regularly serves as outside general counsel to clients which allows him to develop a deep understanding of their businesses and to proactively identify and address potential legal issues. Prior to joining the firm, he served as the chief legal officer to a global consulting firm with over 3,000 employees in over 60 offices worldwide with its partner companies. As the chief legal officer, he assumed responsibility for the board of directors and committee governance, managed the employment and commercial litigation docket with outside counsel, oversaw corporate transactions and the global contracting group, and managed the worldwide trademark portfolio.
Hunter has a unique understanding of financially distressed companies both prior to and during bankruptcy proceedings. He represented a number of clients in either selling or purchasing assets and businesses in Section 363 transactions. He also served on the legal team that assisted the Bankruptcy Examiner’s investigation of Enron, including the analysis of complex structured finance transactions and the roles of third parties in those transactions, as well as the Bankruptcy Examiner’s report to Judge Gonzales of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Hunter began his legal career with Alston & Bird LLP, an international AmLaw 100 firm with offices throughout the U.S. and abroad. During his first three years of legal practice, he acquired a broad base of litigation skills related to complex commercial disputes, product liability matters and debtor/creditor rights. His litigation background provides him a unique perspective when negotiating and drafting transaction documents and commercial agreements. He subsequently transferred to Alston & Bird’s corporate and securities group where he made partner in 2000.
Prior to law school, Hunter began his career as a commercial banker with InterFirst Bank (n/k/a Bank of America) in Dallas, Texas. He completed the bank’s one-year credit analyst training program with rotations through various banking groups including national corporate, international corporate, real estate, middle-market and energy. Upon successful completion of the training program, the bank promoted him to a loan officer in the real estate group.
Hunter was an Endowed Presidential Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance (summa cum laude). He distinguished himself by being elected to the undergraduate Dean’s List for eight consecutive semesters and receiving the Management Department’s Award for Corporate Analysis (cash prize). Hunter attended law school at Vanderbilt University where he served as an Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and as Executive Associate Justice of the Moot Court Board. During law school, he was elected as a Permanent Member of the Honor Council and received both a Vanderbilt Law School Scholarship and the K. Harlan Dodson Award.
When he is away from work, Hunter enjoys golf, tennis, traveling, reading and gardening.
Represented multinational manufacturer of fiber optic cable in series of investments in the U.S. and overseas as well as in complex commercial contract negotiations.
Represented UK-based global film and television studio in green field startup U.S. joint venture.
Represented Atlanta-based printer in sale to publicly traded (Nasdaq) international branding company.
Represented startup technology company and served as outside general counsel. Advised the company with respect to its formation, debt and equity financing transactions, executive and board compensation arrangements (including restrictive covenants), employee incentive plans and complex commercial agreements with third parties.
Served as outside general counsel to what was one of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical/generic contract research organizations. Counseled client through FDA crisis and eventual bankruptcy (reorganization) and second bankruptcy (liquidation).
Represented UK-based public global security services provider in multiple U.S. acquisitions of technology, manufacturing and services companies. Designated as North American M&A counsel by client.
Served as counsel in connection with reorganization and disposition of global parking solutions provider.
Represented private equity fund focused on chemical and plastics industry. Provided business counseling and managed acquisitions, divestitures and complex contract matters.
Advised global manufacturer in the garment industry through its bankruptcy and sale of restructured business to West Coast private equity fund.
Acted as lead counsel in the formation of North American manufacturing joint venture with Canada-based chemical company, as well as in the combination of the North American joint venture with a European joint venture to form a new fully-integrated global joint venture.
Served as counsel to client in its acquisition of a research and technology company’s intellectual property portfolio related to alternative energy.
Served as outside general counsel to New York-based textile manufacturer with operations in the U.S., China and India. Worked with the company through bankruptcy, restructuring, division divestitures, emergence from bankruptcy and ongoing operations post-bankruptcy.
Managed complex restructuring of intellectual property portfolio for manufacturer of measurement and related devices.
Represented Swiss-based multinational private chemical companies in U.S. and cross-border acquisitions and divestitures and served as outside general counsel for certain U.S. operations. Worked closely with business transaction teams on integration issues after acquisitions. Negotiated and drafted complex purchase/supply agreements and infrastructure agreements, including energy, utilities, product and related services agreements, in connection with the construction and refurbishment of chemical plants located in refineries owned and operated by third parties.
Represented portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm in the divestiture of its Mexican operations to portfolio company of New York-based global private equity firm.
Represented NYSE financial services company in the divestiture and closure of its New York-based division that focused on investing in financially distressed companies globally.
Serve as outside general counsel to regional accounting firm. Advised on the acquisition of practices throughout the Southeast and the acquisition of a technology-based services platform.
Represented specialized stop-loss insurance services provider to Chicago-based portfolio company of San Francisco private equity firm.
Represented third-party administrator (TPA) in acquisition by state affiliate of national insurance organization.
Represented national real estate brokerage company in its acquisition of apartment brokerage group. Also, advised principals on follow-on investment fund.
Served on team that assisted with the Bankruptcy Examiner’s investigation of Enron, including the analysis of complex structured finance transactions and roles of third parties in transactions, as well as drafting the Bankruptcy Examiner’s report to Judge Gonzales of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Board Focus on M&A: Industrial Manufacturing, Corporate Board Member, 2011 Special Supplement (co-author)
M&A Outlook 2009: Deal Certainty in Uncertain Times, Financier Worldwide, Issue 73, January 2009
U.S. Regulation of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Seeking the Right Balance, Financier Worldwide, Issue 66, June 2008
Inbound US M&A: Decline of the Dollar Attracts Foreign Buyers, Financier Worldwide, May 2008 (quoted)
The M&A Advisor (Quoted in various articles on M&A issues)
Professional and Civic Activities
Hunter served on the Board of Directors of Bethany Christian Services (international adoption agency) from 1993 to 2003. He also served on the Board of Directors of City of Refuge (Atlanta-based organization committed to holistic approach to poverty and homelessness) from 2004 to 2016. From 2013 to 2016, Hunter served on the Board of Trustees of Whitefield Academy.
News & Insights
J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law
B.B.A. Finance, University of Texas at Austin