Back to News

Drinks With The Deal: Sullivan & Cromwell’s Wu on Navigating to Partnership

Published: April 4th, 2024
Mimi Wu talks about signing up two big deals in her last months as an associate, her affinity for distressed M&A and how getting an M.B.A. along with a J.D. has helped her as a lawyer.

“I was maybe a fifth or a sixth year when I decided that I did want to make a run for partnership at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP,” Mimi Wu said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast.

“The first person I told was Frank Aquila in the middle of Covid,” Wu said. Aquila, at the time the firm’s global head of M&A and now its senior M&A partner, “and the rest of the M&A group gave me so many opportunities,” she said.

“They spent a lot of time helping me figure out what deals made sense for me to work on, what partners I hadn’t worked with and whom it would be good to develop a relationship with, how to work with new partners. I got a lot of advice both formal and informal about how to navigate those last couple of years.”

Last September, Wu teamed with S&C partners George J. Sampas and Audra D. Cohen to advise Enbridge Inc. (ENB) on a $14 billion agreement to buy East Ohio Gas Co., Public Service Co. of North Carolina Inc. and Questar Gas Co. from Dominion Energy Inc. (D) and C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. on a $2 billion agreement to buy 400 grocery stores from Albertsons Cos. (ACI) and Kroger Co. (KR). Both deals are pending.

The experience solidified Wu’s conviction that she had made the right career choice, and she became a partner at S&C on Jan. 1. “You spend so much time as an associate thinking, ‘What’s my next step? I know I’ll be up for partner in X year, or maybe I’ll make a move,’” she said. “But once you get accepted into the partnership, all of a sudden your time horizons just lengthen. Now you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I could be doing this for decades, I’m going to be working with these people for decades.”

Check out the podcast with Mimi Wu below:

More podcasts from The Deal are available on iTunesSpotify and on

More From M&A