“Big Law” Law Firm Partner

Mr. Wertlieb is a retired partner from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, a leading international law firm, where he worked from 1995 to 2016. Based in Milbank’s Los Angeles office, Mr. Wertlieb’s legal practice focused on business transactions, primarily acquisitions, securities offerings and restructurings.

Mr. Wertlieb has represented clients in a wide variety of business matters, including formation and early round financings, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, international securities offerings and other international transactions, fund formations, joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability companies, reorganizations and restructurings, independent investigations and general corporate and contractual matters.

While at Milbank, Mr. Wertlieb served as: Chair of the Ethics Group responsible for the firm’s California practices; the Hiring Partner for the firm’s Los Angeles office; and a member of the firm’s Corporate Governance Group, the firm’s Equal Opportunity Committee, and the firm’s Professional Development Committee. As a member of the firm’s Professional Development Committee, Mr. Wertlieb played an active role in designing, implementing and co-teaching at Milbank@Harvard, an innovative training program in partnership with Harvard Law and Business Schools for Milbank associates worldwide.

Representative Transactions

  • Represented an NYSE-listed company as regular outside corporate counsel in numerous transactions, including IPO, acquisitions, financings and a change-in-control transaction
  • Represented underwriters in the initial public offering of a Southern California-based home builder, considered by The Daily Journal to be one of the Top 10 IPOs of 2013
  • Led the restructuring of a social network company for which Milbank received an “M&A Advisor” Award for Deal of the Year (2014) from The M&A Advisor
  • Represented the finance subsidiary of one of the world’s largest automotive companies in numerous debt financings totaling almost $20 billion
  • Represented the venture capital investing subsidiaries of three major public companies – a multinational conglomerate, a leading telecom company and a large US bank – in over 50 different investments in early stage companies
  • Represented two different alternative energy companies in sale transactions for which Milbank received the “Top Legal Advisor” Award for M&A from Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Represented family owners in disposition transactions for a fashion optical company, a broadcast company and a hair care company
  • Represented unsecured lenders in the restructuring of a print media company with over $10 billion in debt

In-House & Other Legal Experience

Prior to joining Milbank, Mr. Wertlieb was the General Counsel of a public telecommunications and broadcasting company, where he supervised a legal department of nine attorneys and five legal assistants. Mr. Wertlieb also served as the General Counsel of the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Team.

Prior to going in-house, Mr. Wertlieb was an associate in the corporate department at O’Melveny & Myers.

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Adjunct Professor

Mr. Wertlieb is an Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law, where (since 2002) he teaches a transaction skills course of his own design, which includes deal-making, negotiation, contract drafting and ethics.

For more information about Mr. Wertlieb’s transaction skills course, click here.

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Law School:

  • UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
    • J.D. degree awarded 1984
    • Associate Editor, International Tax and Business Lawyer
    • Judicial Extern for Associate Justice Stanley Mosk at the California Supreme Court
  • UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA
    • Ranked number 5 in first-year class of 503 students (top 1%)
    • Transferred to UC Berkeley School of Law after first year
    • Law Review (awarded based on both grades and writing competition)


  • UC Berkeley School of Business Administration, Berkeley, CA
    • B.S. degree awarded 1980 in Management Science
    • Member, Honor Students Society
    • Alumni Scholarship Award Recipient

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Recognitions & Honors

  • “AV Preeminent” peer review rated (5.0 out of 5.0) on Martindale-Hubbell (Present)
  • Profiled in The Lexis Practice Advisor Journal (Spring 2016): “An Overview of Corporate Transactional Practice & Expert Witnessing: Q&A with Neil J Wertlieb
  • Led transactions for which Milbank received an “M&A Advisor” Award for Deal of the Year and an “M&A Advisor Turnaround” Award from The M&A Advisor (2014)
  • Advised underwriters on an initial public offering selected by The Daily Journal as one of the Top 10 IPOs (2013)
  • Recognized in The Legal 500 for M&A work (2012)
  • Led two transactions for which Milbank received the “Top Legal Advisor” Award for M&A from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (2009)
  • Profiled in California Law Business (October 30, 2000): “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California”
  • Profiled in Los Angeles Business Journal (October 16, 2000): “Who’s Who Banking & Finance: Roadkill Warriors”
  • Profiled in California Law Business (October 9, 2000): “Dealmaker of the Week”
  • Profiled in Los Angeles Business Journal (September 20-26, 1999): “Wall Street West: Cyber Lawyer”

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Bar Admissions & Memberships

  • Admitted to practice in California, New York & Washington, D.C.
  • Member: Los Angeles County Bar Association & American Bar Association