Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Covington & Burling’s Catherine Dargan.

Describe a recent dealmaking accomplishment.

I led a multidisciplinary team in Merck’s $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron, a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases. This deal was one of the biggest biotech acquisitions of the year and one of Merck’s largest deals.

In this deal, among other things, we advised our client in obtaining several antitrust/competition authority approvals, managing 10 lawsuits filed in connection with the deal, addressing shareholder activists actively opposing the deal, and securing the tender of a majority of the target’s shares.

How are you advancing the state of women?

Given my experience of often being the only woman, and almost always the only woman of color at the negotiating table, I am keenly aware of the need to mentor and encourage future generations of women and diverse lawyers. I am honored to serve as a mentor and trusted advisor to a number of law students and law firm associates on career guidance in the law, especially those interested in M&A where there are very few women and diverse lawyers. By providing this much needed mentoring and guidance, I hope to share my personal experience and judgment to assist in issues they confront in advancing their careers, including encouraging them to always seek to obtain and enhance the skills necessary to excel in dealmaking. For example, I was thrilled that one of our great associates, Charlotte May, was promoted to partner last fall.