The Brattle Group Announces Principal Yvette Austin Smith as New Chair of the Board
We are excited to announce that Principal Yvette Austin Smith has been elected as Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors. Ms. Austin Smith succeeds Principal Mike Cragg, who served as Chairman since 2016 and will remain a Director.
Ms. Austin Smith is based in Brattle’s New York office, which she led for several years prior to being elected to the Board of Directors in 2018. She co-chairs the Board’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee and serves as the Practice Leader for M&A Litigation. An active member of the community, Ms. Austin Smith has also held multiple board positions outside of Brattle, including for the Appalachian Mountain Club and Midori & Friends, a music education organization.
“Yvette has been an outstanding contributor to Brattle since she joined the firm as a Principal in 2014,” shared Dr. Cragg. “A passionate visionary, she brings an energy to our long-term strategic vision that will help Brattle continue to stand out as a premier source of high-quality client work and professional development.”
Ms. Austin Smith will continue to be actively involved in her ongoing client work, as a recognized expert in valuation and credit and solvency analysis – especially in the context of M&A and bankruptcy disputes. She has testified in US state and federal courts, international courts, and international arbitration forums.
“I’m excited and honored to undertake this new role on Brattle’s executive leadership team,” said Ms. Austin Smith. “Under Mike’s Board leadership, Brattle has grown to more than 400 professionals and greatly expanded our global footprint, with a particular focus on attracting leading talent to our Antitrust & Competition practice. We’ll continue to build on the firm’s success with a focus on client excellence; intergenerational firm stewardship; strategic growth, including continued international investment; and an abiding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
More About Ms. Austin Smith
Over her nearly 30-year career, Ms. Austin Smith has consulted on litigation and disputes related to breaches of fiduciary duty, material adverse effect, dissenting shareholder actions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalization, debt recharacterization, and avoidance actions. She has submitted expert oral and written testimony in multiple venues, including state courts in Delaware and New York, US federal bankruptcy and district courts, international courts in Canada and Australia, and the World Trade Organization and other international arbitration forums.
Clients have retained Ms. Austin Smith as an expert in matters such as Lehman Brothers (on behalf of JPMorgan Chase), Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (on behalf of Apollo Global Management), Physiotherapy Associates Holdings (on behalf of a litigation trustee), US Steel Canada (on behalf of United States Steel) and Purdue Pharma (on behalf of 49 US states and 6 US territories). Before joining Brattle, Ms. Austin Smith worked in investment banking and for prominent economics consultancies.