Charles Ruck primarily advises on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and general corporate and securities matters. He serves as primary outside counsel to a number of public and privately held companies and he regularly represents boards of directors and special committees in complex strategic corporate governance matters. Mr. Ruck is the Global Department Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Corporate Department, a former member of Latham’s Executive Committee, and former Chair of the firm’s Strategic Client Initiative.

Mr. Ruck has experience advising on a variety of transactions, including:

  • Corporate governance and special committee matters
  • Activism and stockholder matters
  • Hostile takeovers and going private transactions

Mr. Ruck has received the following recognition:

  • Named among the Top M&A Lawyers in North America by MergerLinks 2020
  • Named M&A Attorney of the Year by Euromoney's Legal Media Group 2019 
  • M&A/Corporate and Commercial – Shareholder Activism: Advice to Boards by The Legal 500 US 2020-2022 
  • Cited as a Recommended Lawyer in Corporate M&A and Commercial Corporate by The Legal 500 US 2017-2018, 2020-2022
  • Cited as a Recommended Lawyer in the Healthcare: Life Sciences category by The Legal 500 US 2017-2018, 2020-2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America in Mergers and Acquisitions Law for 2012-2018
  • Leading Mergers & Acquisitions lawyer in the US by Chambers Global 2018-2023 and in Southern California by Chambers USA 2020-2022
  • Law360 MVP in Mergers & Acquisitions in 2015 and 2012
  • The National Law Journal 2015 as an M&A Trailblazer
  • Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer 2013 and highlighted as Dealmaker of the Week 2014
  • Euromoney’s Legal Media Group 2012, 2013, 2015and 2016 as Life Sciences Star
  • The Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California in 2008 and 2012
  • The New York Times as one of an exclusive group of legal and financial professionals leading the next generation of corporate deal makers
  • California Lawyer as Transactional Attorney of the Year
  • Nightingale's Healthcare News as one of the 12 Outstanding Healthcare Transaction Lawyers

Mr. Ruck formerly served as a clerk to Judge David M. Ebel, on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and as negotiator for the US Trade Representative at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Special Committees

Mr. Ruck has led numerous transactions and been involved with numerous governance matters that involved special committees, including representing:

  • Committee of Independent Directors of T-Mobile US in its US$146 billion merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint
  • Independent Directors of the Board of First Data Corporation in its US$22 billion acquisition by Fiserv
  • Caesars Entertainment Corporation in an unsolicited leveraged buyout offer by Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., one of the largest LBOs in US corporate history
  • Special Committee of the Board of Tesla Inc. in its evaluation of any going-private proposals
  • Quest Software in its US$2.4 billion acquisition by Dell
  • Special Committee of independent directors of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II in its US$4 billion acquisition by NorthStar Realty Finance Corp.
  • Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Standard Pacific Corporation in its US$187 million acquisition by MP CA Homes, LLC
  • Special Committee of Micro Therapeutics, Inc. regarding various matters involving its controlling stockholder, Warburg Pincus & Co., including two private placement financings led by Warburg Pincus
  • Special Committee of Candlewood Hotel Company, Inc. in the US$105 million sale of substantially all the Company’s assets to Hospitality Properties Trust and a subsidiary of InterContinental Group
  • Conflict Committee of Athene Holding in connection with the US$11 billion merger between Athene Holding, a Bermuda-based life insurance company engaged in issuing and reinsuring fixed and equity-indexed annuities, and Apollo Global Management
  • Special Committee of the Board of Switch in its US$11 billion acquisition by DigitalBridge Investment and IFM

Shareholder Activism

Mr. Ruck has defended numerous activist shareholder campaigns seeking board representation. He has advised on activist campaigns orchestrated by some of the most notorious activists including Carl Ichan at Trian, Dan Loeb at Third Point, Jeff Ubbenat Value Act and Ralph Whitworth at Relational Investors. He has also been involved in numerous hostile takeover battles, including representing Allergan in the recent groundbreaking takeover attempt orchestrated with activist shareholder Bill Ackman and Pershing Square. He has also coordinated strategy for over 100 shareholder proxy proposals involving topics as diverse as proxy access to the ability for shareholders to act by written consent.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mr. Ruck’s representative M&A transactions include advising:

  • (fka: Allergan/ AbbVie/ Actavis/ Watson) in several transactions, including its:
    • US$40.5 billion sale of its Global Generic Pharmaceuticals Business to Teva
    • US$28 billion acquisition of Forest Laboratories
    • US$8.5 billion acquisition of Warner Chilcott
    • US$5.65 billion acquisition of Actavis Group Hf
  • ST Telemedia in CenturyLink’s US$34 billion acquisition of Level 3 Communications, Inc.
  • Raptor Pharmaceuticals in its US$800 million acquisition by Horizon Pharma plc
  • WCI Communities in its US$643 million merger with Lennar Corporation
  • Receptos in its US$7.2 billion acquisition by Celgene
  • Thoratec in its US$3.4 billion acquisition by St. Jude Medical
  • Amphenol Corp. in its US$1.275 billion acquisition of FCI Asia Pte Ltd.
  • Avanir Pharmaceuticals in its US$3.5 billion acquisition by Otsuka Pharmaceutical
  • Starbucks Corporation in its US$913 million acquisition of Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd.
  • Spirit Realty Capital, Inc. in its US$7.4 billion merger with Cole Credit Property Trust II
  • ArthroCare Corporation in its US$1.7 billion acquisition by Smith & Nephew
  • US$1.3 billion sale of Cadence Pharmaceuticals by a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt plc
  • Medicis Pharmaceutical in the US$2.6 billion acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  • Harrah’s Entertainment in its US$28 billion sale to affiliates of Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management, its US$10.3 billion acquisition of Caesars Entertainment and other transactions
  • Complete Production Services in its US$6.2 billion merger with Superior Energy Services
  • American Medical Systems Holdings in its US$2.9 billion sale to Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings
  • ICOS Corporation in its US$2.3 billion sale to Eli Lilly
  • Hydril Company and its controlling shareholders in its US$2.2 billion sale to Tenaris S.A.
  • Adecco in its US$1.3 billion acquisition of the MPS Group
  • Cotiviti Holdings in its US$4.9 billion sale to Verscend Technologies
  • Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB in its US$1.5 billion acquisition of the perpetual rights to Synagis® (palivizumab) in the US from AstraZeneca

Capital Markets

Mr. Ruck’s capital markets practice includes advising numerous public and private offerings of both debt and equity securities, representing issuers and underwriters, including Allergan, Amgen, Broadcom, and Caesars Entertainment. Additionally, he regularly represents the nation’s top investment banks in their capacities as financial advisors, underwriters, and placement agents.

Bar Qualification

  • California
  • New York


  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 1992
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1989
February 16, 2024 Recognition

Mergers & Acquisitions Group of the Year: Latham

Latham & Watkins has been named a 2023 Mergers & Acquisitions Group of the Year by Law360 in recognition of the firm’s innovative work on several of the most complex and transformative deals across industry sectors.