James Hu’s practice focuses on public and private merger and acquisition transactions.

He regularly advises investors, boards of directors, senior executives, and founders on strategic, legal, and business matters in all types of M&A transactions, including leveraged buyouts, public company mergers, corporate carve-outs, minority investments, and distressed situations. James advises on transactions across the industry spectrum, with substantial experience in the technology, life science and health care, and consumer space.

A practical and strategic negotiator, James is known to maintain a constructive deal dynamic and deliver efficient execution. Having represented prominent financial sponsors and multiple Fortune 500 companies, James brings experience to both buyers and sellers and is often credited with creatively bridging the gap.

James joined the firm as a partner in 2024 from another international law firm.

notable experiences (including those prior to joining cleary)

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare

  • Baxalta in connection with Shire’s unsolicited takeover bid resulting in a $32 billion stock-and-cash sale.

  • Teva in its $40 billion takeover proposal to acquire Mylan.

  • AbbVie in its announced $55 billion acquisition of Shire.

  • Investor consortium in the $4.76 billion take-private of China Biologic Products.

  • Cambrex in its $2.4 billion agreement to be acquired by Permira.

  • Ventas in its $1.75 billion acquisition of Ardent Medical Services and the concurrent $475 million carve-out sale of Ardent’s operational business.

  • Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in its sale to CHRISTUS Health, an international, not-for-profit health system.

  • Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, in its $15 billion business combination with Ginkgo Bioworks, a synthetic biology company, which uses technology to program cells for a potentially wide variety of uses, including fragrances and sweeteners, as well as mRNA vaccines and animal-free proteins.

  • Apollomics, a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, in its $899 million definitive agreement for a business combination with Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp.

  • Clene Nanomedicine, a nanotechnology-based biopharma company, in its $542.5 million combination with Tottenham Acquisition I Limited.

  • Apax Partners in its sale of Genex Services, a leading provider of managed care services, to Stone Point Capital LLC.

  • ARCHIMED, a global investment firm, in its creation of leading dermatologic-focused CRO through simultaneous purchase of Symbio and Proinnovera.

  • Viking Global Investors in its carve-out acquisition of RUCDR Infinite Biologics lab from Rutgers University.

  • Centerview Partners as financial advisor to AveXis in its $8.7 billion sale to Novartis.

  • Inversago Pharma in its C$90 million Series C financing.

  • Famy Life Sciences in its sale to Viartis, together with its portfolio of development stage ophthalmology drugs.

  • Biosynex, a market-leading designer and distributor of rapid diagnostic tests, in its entry into a definitive merger agreement with Chembio Diagnostics, a leading point-of-care diagnostics company focused on infectious diseases, under which Biosynex will acquire Chembio by an all-cash tender offer.

  • Graf Acquisition Corp. IV, in its entry into a definitive agreement for a business combination with NKGen Biotech Inc., a leading clinical stage natural killer (NK) cell therapy company.

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Technology and Software

  • Micro Focus International in its $8.8 billion Reverse Morris Trust acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company’s software business.

  • GfK, a leader in global information services and KKR and NIM portfolio company, in its combination with Nielsen IQ.

  • Plantronics in its sale discussion with Logitech, with reported value of $2.2 billion.

  • Fortive in its $2 billion acquisition of Accruent and in the combination of its Tektronix Video business, a global leader in video test, with Telestream, a leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions.

  • Apollo-backed Riverbed Technology, a leading IT solutions provider, in its sale to Vector Capital.

  • Madison Dearborn Partners in its acquisition of Benefytt Technologies for approximately $624.5 million.

  • F-Secure, a consumer cyber security company that operates in more than 100 countries, in its $223 million acquisition of the mobile consumer security business from Lookout.

  • Harland Clarke Holdings, a MacAndrew & Forbes portfolio company, in its sale of Scantron to Transom Capital Group and in Valassis’ $95 million acquisition of MaxPoint Interactive.

  • An ad hoc group of institutional investors in the recapitalization of Riverbed Aternity in a Chapter 11 proceeding.

  • dMY Technology Group Inc. IV in its $2.8 billion business combination with Planet Labs.

  • VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings II, a SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital, in its $2.5 billion business combination with FinAccel, the parent of artificial intelligence-enabled digital consumer credit platform Kredivo.

  • New Providence Acquisition Corp. in its $1.8 billion business combination with AST & Science.

  • Air Water Ventures, a leading sustainable water solutions company, in its entry into a definitive agreement for a business combination with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. II, at a pre-money equity value of $300 million.

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Media and Telecommunications

  • Falcon’s Beyond, a leading global entertainment development company, in its $1 billion merger agreement with FAST Acquisition Corp. II.

  • Charter Communications in its strategic investment in comScore, together with Qurate Retail and Cerberus Capital, totaling $204 million, in its sale of its datacenter business to RDX, and in its formation of a 50/50 operating platform partnership with Comcast Corporation focused on the development and design of backend systems that support Charter’s Spectrum Mobile and Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile service.

  • Centerview Partners as financial advisor to Pandora Media in its $3.5 billion sale to SiriusXM.

  • Centerview Partners and Lazard Frères & Co. as financial advisors to the special committee of CBS Corporation in its combination with Viacom.

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Consumer Products

  • KKR in its bid to acquire Tesco’s Korean Unit, with a reported value of $6 billion.

  • Vestar Capital Partners in its acquisition of majority ownership in Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods.

  • Warburg Pincus and its portfolio company TriMark USA in the sale of TriMark USA, the country’s largest provider of design services, equipment, and supplies to the foodservice industry, to Centerbridge Partners.

  • TZP Group in its acquisition of Pyramid Hotel Group, a leading hotel management company.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line in its $2.4 billion capital market transaction.

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Energy, Infrastructure, and Industrial

  • Celanese Corporation in its joint venture with Blackstone to create a global acetate tow supplier.

  • TDR Capital in its $6.6 billion combination of WillScot with Mobile Mini.

  • Equity One in its $15.6 billion merger with Regency Centers Corporation, creating the preeminent shopping center REIT in the United States.

  • The Macerich Company in Simon Property Group’s $23.2 billion unsolicited takeover offer and subsequent settlement with two activist investors.

  • RGIS Holdings LLC, a global leader in inventory and retail services and a former Blackstone portfolio company, in its out-of-court restructuring.

  • European Lithium in its business combination with Sizzle Acquisition Corp to create Critical Metals, owning Europe’s first major source of battery-grade lithium concentrates, with a pro forma market capitalization of $972 million.

  • E.E.W. Eco Energy World PLC in its $650 million business combination with Climate Rock.

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Financial Services

  • JTC, the global provider of fund, corporate, and private client services, in its $270 million acquisition of South Dakota Trust Company.

  • Värde Partners in its investment in OneMain, the largest subprime installment lender, together with funds managed by Apollo.

  • Lion Financial Group, a diversified financial services company based in Hong Kong, in its combination with Proficient Alpha Acquisition Corp.

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Selected Activities

Member, Board of Trustees, Museum of Chinese in America (since 2023)

Adjunct Professor, Cornell Law School and Cornell Tech (since 2020)

Member, M&A Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2022)

Publications

Events