Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2023, 9:00 AM

They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40 - Saee Muzumdar of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Lisa Helem
Lisa Helem
Executive Editor
MP McQueen

Please describe two of your most substantial, recent wins in practice.

Among two of my most substantial, recent wins include representing VMware in its $61 billion pending sale to Broadcom. While we signed in a very quick 13 days after receipt of the bid letter, the subsequent 13 months have been an intense journey navigating the regulatory approval process in a variety of jurisdictions, but I’m very proud of how we have pushed the deal forward and are continuing to achieve results for our client.

In addition, in January 2023, we signed a $7.1 billion deal for Xylem to acquire Evoqua. Xylem had considered Evoqua to be a strategic asset and good fit for years, Xylem and Evoqua management were able to come to terms in late 2022. Once aligned, that transaction also moved very quickly as we were able to get to signing in just three weeks in January 2023 and the deal closed 4 months later.

What is the most important lesson you learned as a first-year attorney and how does it inform your practice today?

Starting my career in 2008 (during the financial crisis) taught me to be adaptable, and to view the role of a corporate lawyer broadly—a role that requires me to learn about a wide variety of topics, so that I can provide the best advice to clients. At the time, there was very little “bread and butter” M&A going on, so to the extent I wanted to do deal-work, I learned that there are a number of M&A-adjacent matters you can take on to help clients.

This mentality has largely informed the way I practice today, and how I seek to advise my clients on a wide range of issues, as opposed to drawing a small box around what type of law I practice. This approach has strengthened my relationships with clients and helped further embed me with their teams, as they know they can come to me with any question and I will find a way to help.

How do you define success in your practice?

Helping clients solve problems. Success to me is defined by: (1) cultivating close relationships as a trusted advisor to clients so that they will call on me whenever they are looking for help with a problem; and (2) finding the best solutions for the problem at hand. That may entail a novel negotiation or contract provision, but it may also entail helping a client unwind a bad deal or avoid a potential lawsuit.

What are you most proud of as a lawyer?

I am most proud of two aspects of my career. The first involves the opportunities that I am helping to create for the next generation of legal talent, especially diverse talent. One of my first mentors, Rashida La Lande, said to me when I was a very junior associate that it was my responsibility to give opportunities to the women and people of color and ensure those individuals are not left behind.

I have been tremendously blessed to have mentors like Rashida, Barbara, and others who have given those opportunities to me throughout my career, and I am determined to keep paying it forward to others.

In addition, I am extremely proud of the work I’ve done on countless matters to help my clients achieve their goals—whether that’s seeing a founder through the growth of their company, investment rounds, and eventual sales, or helping CEOs and boards of directors through legal and other challenges, and of course through all sorts of M&A transactions.

Who is your greatest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?

Barbara Becker is my greatest mentor and sponsor in the law, and also a tremendous influence on my personal and professional development. When I started at the firm, fresh out of law school, Barbara —who was chair of our M&A practice at the time—took an interest in my career, and in who I was as a person.

Having grown up in an immigrant family in Canada, I had no experience working in Big Law, and I did not have friends or family members who had pursued any similar path in professional services. So, as I embarked on this career, everything felt very foreign.

Barbara was my lifeline. She taught me a style of lawyering that I saw her employ with such ease: a way of communicating advice and counselling clients that empowers them and gives them confidence in the decisions they are making. I mirrored not only that style of giving advice, but also learned to channel her tremendous calm and even temper, even in extremely stressful situations.

Barbara has also guided me through every difficult personal and professional situation I’ve faced in the past 15 years by being a confidant, sounding board, provider of tough love when needed, and—most importantly—an amazing friend.

Tell us your two favorite songs on your summer playlist.

While my friends would say I have terrible taste in music, the two songs that are currently on my summer playlist are: (1) “Last, Last” by Burma Boy – I think it is a very fun song; and (2) “Lake By The Ocean” by Maxwell – it’s an oldie, but it has new meaning for me this year.

Saee Muzumdar of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Cappodocia, Turkey
Saee Muzumdar and Jonathan Hurtarte/Bloomberg Law

Saee Muzumdar is co-chair of Gibson Dunn’s M&A Practice Group. In addition to her transactions, she serves on the global Diversity Committee and as a partner representative on the New York Associates Committee recruits diverse talent firmwide. Muzumdar if working with Asian American partners at her firm to develop an Asian American and Pacific Islander Advancement Initiative aimed at retaining and promoting AAPI talent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

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