William G. Connolly

Bill listens before speaking and never hesitates to roll up his sleeves to dig into an issue. He strives to develop long-term relationships with clients. “To be most effective, I need to understand my client’s business and its priorities. It is also more fun to work with friends.” 

For over 25 years, Bill has counseled businesses and executives on transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, financings, workouts, corporate governance, shareholder disputes, joint ventures, employment arrangements, contract review and general corporate counseling. Bill focuses on U.S. firms with annual revenues of $20 to $500 million dollars as well as international firms with operations in the U.S.

What really motivates Bill is fostering success in others. “Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a client or a colleague grow more successful over time and feel you have contributed to that success.”

Working with a wide range of clients, from entrepreneurial start-ups to large international conglomerates, Bill is skilled in changing gears to match the appropriate level of service with the client’s expectations and budget. Some clients need Bill’s guidance on how a particular type of transaction usually plays out.   Others require Bill to manage a team of legal experts and work with the in-house legal department to wrestle through a tangle of successive issues. 

Chambers USA praised Bill for his “impressive work involving buyouts and stock placements.” Clients in the same guide praised Bill for his “great insight into potential issues that may arise” and his ability to “identify and ensure unnecessary risks are avoided” as well as his “excellent communication skills when negotiating and advising.” Bill has been named a “Best Lawyer” in Corporate Law by The Best Lawyers in America® since 2008, and Thomson and Reuters has included him on New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” list for mergers and acquisitions since 2007.

Prior to joining Sherman Wells Sylvester & Stamelman LLP, Bill was a partner for 14 years at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP.

Education
New York University School of Law, J.D. (1991)College of William & Mary, B.A. (1988)
Bar Admissions
New Jersey
Recognition
Chambers & Partners USA for Corporate/M&A New Jersey (Since 2011)New Jersey’s Super Lawyers, Mergers and Acquisitions (Since 2007)Best Lawyers of America for Corporate Law (Since 2008)Award Methodology
Representative Clients and Transactions
  • Primary U.S. counsel for strategic acquisitions and general counsel for U.S. legal issues for a public French materials manufacturer
  • Negotiated the purchase of a NBA franchise, including creating a capital structure, raising capital and negotiating issues with the league
  • Represented executive team in the sale of a private company to a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company
  • Primary outside counsel to an agent-owned reinsurance company, regularly advising on corporate governance and private placements
  • U.S. counsel to a public Korean conglomerate for U.S. acquisitions and general corporate issues
  • Advise technology senior statesman on new board appointments, board issues and equity awards
  • Represent a distributor in a series of leveraged acquisitions extending its territory up and down the East coast
  • Outside general counsel to a medical device company for day-to-day operations as well as for a restructuring and the sale of its core product to an Indian pharma company