David P. McHugh

Partner and Corporate & Securities Practice Leader
Dave is the national leader of ArentFox Schiff’s Corporate & Securities group and serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Drawing on his experience counseling a wide range of companies, from startups to Fortune 500 businesses, David crafts legal strategy with a singular goal: achieving his clients’ business objectives. He regularly serves as outside general counsel to private companies, including clients from outside of the United States for their businesses inside the United States. David regularly collaborates with the firm’s other practice groups to find practical, forward-thinking solutions. Many of his former colleagues have become clients, relying on him for his day-to-day business and legal insight.

David has extensive experience advising public and private companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters, including organizational, governance, and compliance issues. He combines deep legal knowledge with an entrepreneurial spirit to provide a fresh perspective on his clients’ challenges and helps develop comprehensive, cost-effective solutions. He then works with clients to adjust these solutions as they are implemented, ensuring successful outcomes that support long-term business strategies.

David’s clients are from diverse industries — such as manufacturing, technology, consumer, and industrial products — and they appreciate his flexible, responsive counsel. He works with every level of management, and is adept at handling corporate governance, compliance, and securities-related issues for businesses of all sizes. Clients trust him as a discreet, thoughtful adviser, and return to him for counsel regularly.

David is often called upon by clients to lead their international transactions. Clients rely on David’s judgment that he has developed from his first-hand experience working on an individual basis with a wide network of counsel throughout the world and navigating complex legal issues on cross-border transactions.

In addition to his work with private and public companies, David has represented a variety of others in their business dealings. He has advised issuers and investment banks in equity and debt offerings; has been bond counsel for state and local political subdivisions; and he works with private equity sponsors and investors in their acquisition, divestiture, and financing activities.

Client Work

Represented Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL) in the following transactions:

  • Disposition of Jostens Inc., the Minnesota maker of school memorabilia and class and championship rings, to private equity firm Platinum Equity for approximately $1.3 billion in cash.
  • $615 million acquisition of the worldwide stationery products businesses (PaperMate, Parker, Waterman and Liquid Paper brands) of The Gillette Company, which included the acquisition of stock and assets in more than 40 countries.
  • $450 million acquisition of American Saw & Mfg. Company, a manufacturer of saw-blade products.
  • $445 million acquisition of Technical Concepts®, a global provider of innovative restroom hygiene systems.
  • $270 million sale of Levolor and Kirsch window covering brands to Hunter Douglas.
  • Sale of its Rexair business to investment funds affiliated with Rhône Capital, a global private equity firm.
  • $100 million acquisition of Smith Mountain Industries, a candle maker that sells under the WoodWick candle brand.
  • $75 million acquisition of Chesapeake Bay Candle from its founders.
  • Acquisition of CardScan, Inc; the acquisition of United Receptacle, a high-end commercial receptacles manufacturing business; the acquisition of the assets of the BebeSounds® brand of child and juvenile products; and the acquisition of the assets of the Solano® brand of hair styling and related products and accessories for salon professionals.
  • Disposition of the BernzOmatic business; the disposition of Newell’s Totes business to United Solutions,
  • Disposition of hardware businesses (Amerock, Ashland, Bulldog and Shur-Line brands) to Nova Capital

Represented Snap-on Incorporated (NYSE:SNA), a manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions, in the following transactions:

  • Acquisition of Mountz, a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of high precision torque tools, including measurement, calibration, and documentation products, for $40 million in cash.
  • Acquisition of Pro-Cut International, which designs, manufactures and distributes equipment used in brake servicing by automotive repair facilities, for approximately $42 million in cash.
  • Acquisition of Sweden-based Car-O-Liner Holding AB for approximately $155 million in cash.
  • Acquisition of Sturtevant Richmont for approximately $13 million in cash.
  • Acquisition of Norbar Torque Tools, which designs and manufacturers torque control equipment.

Represented Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP) in the sale of its machinery protection and condition monitoring hardware platform systems, products and services, including software, and in the acquisition of BillBlast, an e-billing software, by its Aderant unit.

Represented TTS Tooltechnic Systems, a privately held company based in Germany, in its acquisition of SawStop LLC.

Represented CTR Lda., a privately held company based in Portugal, in connection with its acquisition of the assets of CoPac Industries.

Represented Franklin Electric Co., Inc. (Nasdaq: FELE) in the following transactions:

  • $121 million acquisition of Little Giant Pump Company, a worldwide manufacturer of submersible and above-ground water pumps and products, from Tecumseh Products. The stock purchase expanded Franklin’s customer base in the residential and commercial markets.
  • $35 million acquisition of Healy Systems, Inc., a worldwide provider of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems and Components used at gasoline stations to reduce vapor emissions during refueling.
  • Acquisition of multiple pump-related businesses, including a division of Monarch Industries Limited, WEStern Pumps LLC, HQ Couplers LLC, Beaudreau Electric, Inc. and Calvert Engineering, Inc.

David worked on the disposition by merger of Chicago-based New Asia Bank to Cathay Bank (Nasdaq: CATY), a $23.46 million transaction in cash and stock.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications

  • American Bar Association, Section of Business Law
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • Lurie Children’s Medical Center of Chicago, Director
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation, Executive Committee, Director
  • Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, Director
  • Children’s Research Fund, Director, Executive Committee, Legal Counsel, Past Chairman; Past Treasurer
  • Children’s Research Fund Junior Board Foundation, Legal Counsel, Past Co-Chair

Professional Activities

David is a long-standing supporter of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He serves on many of its boards and committees, including the Children’s Research Fund, where he was Chairman for three years.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


  • “The “New” Normal: Maintaining an Ethical Work Environment,” 41st Annual Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate & Securities Law and 60th Annual Corporate Counsel Virtual Institute, Webinar (Sep. 24, 2021)


  • The Legal 500 United States – M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A – Middle-Market (Sub-$500m) (2018-2023)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2015-2021)
  • 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch, The Chicago Lawyer (2012)
  • Illinois Rising Star, Thomson Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers (2011-2012)