Sadler, Thomas C.

Thomas C. Sadler

Retired Partner

Mr. Sadler retired from Latham & Watkins in 2014. Over his 32-year career as a corporate lawyer, Mr. Sadler represented investment banks, private equity sponsors, corporations and entrepreneurs in cutting edge high yield, leverage finance, and merger and acquisition transactions. Although he worked in many industries, key areas of focus were supermarkets and “big box” retail, oil and gas, and casinos/ gaming. Recognized as a leader, Mr. Sadler served twice on the firm’s Associates (partnership promotion) Committee, served as the Corporate Department Chair in the Los Angeles office for many years, and also served as the global Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department from 2000 to 2005.

When Mr. Sadler joined the firm in 1982, the Los Angeles office was the hub of the firm’s (now global) transactional practice. Working with a team of young and talented lawyers, Mr. Sadler and his colleagues developed a strong relationship with Los Angeles office of Drexel Burnham Lambert and supported their pioneering efforts to build an underwriting market for non-investment grade “high yield” debt securities. Notable transactions from this period included major financings for The Wickes Companies, Occidental Petroleum, Bergen Brunswig and Foodmaker.

Over the years Mr. Sadler also represented E.F. Hutton, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers, Kidder Peabody, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Jefferies and Deutsche Bank, among others, in various debt and equity financing transactions.

As a young partner, Mr. Sadler’s leveraged finance skills were called upon by a nascent group of LA based private equity sponsors. Foremost among these was The Yucaipa Companies which had begun a decade long series of consolidations, and later divestitures, in the supermarket industry. Notable transactions included the acquisitions of the Boys Markets, Alpha-Beta and Ralphs chains in Southern California, the Cala Foods chain in Northern California, the Almacs chain in Rhode Island, the Smitty’s chain in Arizona, the Smith’s Food & Drug chain in Utah and the Dominick’s chain in Chicago. Later transactions included investments in the Pathmark and A&P chains (NY area) and most recently the acquisition of the Fresh & Easy chain from Tesco.

In addition to his work in the supermarket industry, Mr. Sadler worked with several other “big box” retailers. Notable transactions included his representation of the underwriters in the initial public offerings of Petsmart and Zainy Brainy. He also worked with an LA based venture capital firm on multiple rounds of private financing for the Ulta Salon & Cosmetic chain based in Chicago as well as its eventual IPO.

Mr. Sadler was frequently involved in some of the largest and most complicated transactions at his firm. Among these were:

  • the “pre-packaged” bankruptcy reorganization of The Southland Corporation (7/11);
  • the DLJ Merchant Bank joint venture with Morgan’s Hotel Group to acquire the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas;
  • the ORIX USA acquisition of a majority stake in Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin;
  • the Yucaipa acquisition of the UK based Soho House clubs and, most recently, the sale of the Aloha Petroleum chain of gas stations in Hawaii.

Among Mr. Sadler’s other recent clients were Upfront Partners (formerly Global Retail Partners or GRP); Knowledge Universe; Rite Aid Corporation; Steve Wynn and Ares Management.


  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1982
  • MALD Candidate, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1978
  • BA, Stanford University, 1976
    With Distinction