14

Craig S. Wittlin

Managing Partner
  • Rochester and Buffalo
  • 585.231.1260
  •   •     •     •  

Craig serves as HSE’s Managing Partner while leading a thriving corporate law and transactional practice. Known for his strong business acumen and pragmatic advice, Craig is a corporate lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience. He serves as outside General Counsel to one of the largest retailers in the Northeast United States, and serves as lead outside counsel to several other businesses in industries ranging from banking to manufacturing. Craig guides HSE teams in various merger, acquisition, securities, joint venture, and capital markets transactions. Over the last decade, he has led HSE’s efforts on transactions with an aggregate value of more than $10 billion, ranging from transactions of less than $1 million to more than $1 billion. Craig has substantial experience advising executives and board members of Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, and other public and large private companies on matters related to corporate governance, risk assessment, and disclosure obligations under federal securities laws.

Since 2012, Craig has been recognized as a leading practitioner in Corporate/M&A law by Chambers & Partners, the worldwide leader in law firm and attorney rankings. Upon his initial listing by Chambers USA, Craig was one of only two lawyers in New York State outside of the metro New York City area recognized by Chambers USA in its Corporate/M&A rankings. Currently, Craig is the only lawyer in upstate New York, in any practice area, to be recognized by Chambers as an “eminent practitioner”, a designation reserved for highly influential lawyers recognized for their key role in both management and client relationships. Chambers cites Craig as being “knowledgeable, responsive and practical” in his leadership of teams on a variety of corporate matters.

Craig has served as HSE’s Managing Partner since 2016. In that capacity, he acts as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, and chairs the firm’s Management Committee. As Managing Partner, Craig provides strategic direction and leadership to the firm’s five offices, attorneys, and staff. Before being elected as Managing Partner, Craig spent 12 years on HSE’s Management Committee, led the firm’s strategic planning efforts, founded and chaired the firm’s associate evaluation committee, and served for more than a decade on its hiring committee.

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC AFFILIATIONS

  • Board Member, Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester
    • Executive Committee Member
    • Chariman of the Governance and Nominating Committee
  • President, Town of Inlet Historical Society
  • Former Board Member and Vice President, Temple B'rith Kodesh
  • Former Board Member, YMCA’s Camp Gorham
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees and Finance Committee, GEVA Theatre Center
  • Former Board Member, CP Rochester

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2012-2019 in the field of Corporate/M&A
  • Named to the Chambers USA Upstate New York “Eminent Practitioner” List from 2017-2019 
  • Named as Best Lawyers® 2016 Mergers and Acquisitions Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, NY
  • Named as Best Lawyers® 2013 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, NY
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, 2009-2019
  • Recipient, “Forty Under 40” Award, Rochester Business Journal, 2004

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Acts as outside General Counsel to a large retailer with over 100 locations and $3 billion in annual revenue.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in connection with over 20 acquisitions, with purchase prices ranging from $8 million to more than $500 million.
  • Representing a leading international company in two merger transactions with public company targets, including primary responsibility for all aspects of negotiating and drafting the acquisition agreements and the related Form S-4 registration statements.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in three offerings of debt securities under Rule 144A, having an aggregate value of nearly $2 billion.
  • Representing the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a consumer products company in a “going private” transaction.
  • Advising a privately held company in connection with three rounds of private equity financing, totaling nearly $40 million.
  • Representing a private equity fund in approximately ten different investments.
  • Representing an investment advisory firm in connection with the formation of multiple group trusts and other pooled investment vehicles.
  • Representing a company conducting a “roll-up” transaction in the building supply industry, including the negotiation and closing of five acquisitions.

NEWS

PRACTICE AREAS

ADMISSIONS

  • New York

EDUCATION

  • Albany Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Syracuse University, B.S., Managerial Law and Public Policy
HSE Law
14
Craig S. Wittlin
Managing Partner
cwittlin@hselaw.com
tel: 585.231.1260
fax: 585.232.2152

Craig serves as HSE’s Managing Partner while leading a thriving corporate law and transactional practice. Known for his strong business acumen and pragmatic advice, Craig is a corporate lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience. He serves as outside General Counsel to one of the largest retailers in the Northeast United States, and serves as lead outside counsel to several other businesses in industries ranging from banking to manufacturing. Craig guides HSE teams in various merger, acquisition, securities, joint venture, and capital markets transactions. Over the last decade, he has led HSE’s efforts on transactions with an aggregate value of more than $10 billion, ranging from transactions of less than $1 million to more than $1 billion. Craig has substantial experience advising executives and board members of Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, and other public and large private companies on matters related to corporate governance, risk assessment, and disclosure obligations under federal securities laws.

Since 2012, Craig has been recognized as a leading practitioner in Corporate/M&A law by Chambers & Partners, the worldwide leader in law firm and attorney rankings. Upon his initial listing by Chambers USA, Craig was one of only two lawyers in New York State outside of the metro New York City area recognized by Chambers USA in its Corporate/M&A rankings. Currently, Craig is the only lawyer in upstate New York, in any practice area, to be recognized by Chambers as an “eminent practitioner”, a designation reserved for highly influential lawyers recognized for their key role in both management and client relationships. Chambers cites Craig as being “knowledgeable, responsive and practical” in his leadership of teams on a variety of corporate matters.

Craig has served as HSE’s Managing Partner since 2016. In that capacity, he acts as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, and chairs the firm’s Management Committee. As Managing Partner, Craig provides strategic direction and leadership to the firm’s five offices, attorneys, and staff. Before being elected as Managing Partner, Craig spent 12 years on HSE’s Management Committee, led the firm’s strategic planning efforts, founded and chaired the firm’s associate evaluation committee, and served for more than a decade on its hiring committee.

Representative Experience

  • Acts as outside General Counsel to a large retailer with over 100 locations and $3 billion in annual revenue.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in connection with over 20 acquisitions, with purchase prices ranging from $8 million to more than $500 million.
  • Representing a leading international company in two merger transactions with public company targets, including primary responsibility for all aspects of negotiating and drafting the acquisition agreements and the related Form S-4 registration statements.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in three offerings of debt securities under Rule 144A, having an aggregate value of nearly $2 billion.
  • Representing the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a consumer products company in a “going private” transaction.
  • Advising a privately held company in connection with three rounds of private equity financing, totaling nearly $40 million.
  • Representing a private equity fund in approximately ten different investments.
  • Representing an investment advisory firm in connection with the formation of multiple group trusts and other pooled investment vehicles.
  • Representing a company conducting a “roll-up” transaction in the building supply industry, including the negotiation and closing of five acquisitions.

Professional & Civic Affiliations

  • Board Member, Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester
    • Executive Committee Member
    • Chariman of the Governance and Nominating Committee
  • President, Town of Inlet Historical Society
  • Former Board Member and Vice President, Temple B'rith Kodesh
  • Former Board Member, YMCA’s Camp Gorham
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees and Finance Committee, GEVA Theatre Center
  • Former Board Member, CP Rochester

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2012-2019 in the field of Corporate/M&A
  • Named to the Chambers USA Upstate New York “Eminent Practitioner” List from 2017-2019 
  • Named as Best Lawyers® 2016 Mergers and Acquisitions Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, NY
  • Named as Best Lawyers® 2013 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, NY
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, 2009-2019
  • Recipient, “Forty Under 40” Award, Rochester Business Journal, 2004

News

Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • Albany Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Syracuse University, B.S., Managerial Law and Public Policy

Disclaimer

This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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