James J. Hanks Jr. is a partner in the 600-lawyer firm of Venable LLP, with offices in Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as a visiting senior lecturer at Johnson and an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. Hanks has taught International Mergers and Acquisitions at Johnson since 1999. At the Cornell Law School, he taught courses in securities regulation, corporate counsel, and business combinations.
Hanks has also taught courses at the Institute of Law in Beijing and at the Insituto de Empresa in Madrid as well as classes in corporation law at other law schools in the United States and in the Republic of South Africa. He is the author of Maryland Corporation Law, coauthor (with former Stanford Law School Dean Bayless Manning) of the third edition of Legal Capital, author of several law review articles, and a frequent speaker on corporation law issues. He has been actively involved in the revision of the Model Business Corporation Act and is a member of The American Law Institute. Hanks was Commerzbank Visiting Professor of Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, in fall 2003, and taught there again in fall 2005 and 2007. Hanks appears in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America in three categories: “Corporate Governance and Compliance Law,” “Corporate Law,” and “Mergers and Acquisitions Law.”
In private practice, Hanks represents publicly and privately held corporations and other entities in securities offerings and other financing transactions. Hanks has advised buyers or sellers in more than 250 mergers or acquisitions, including many valued at more than one billion dollars. He has also represented parties in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other transactions. Hanks regularly serves as independent counsel to the boards of directors and board committees of major U.S. corporations, and as an expert witness in connection with major transactions, stockholder litigation, conflicts of interest, and corporate governance issues. He also advises foreign governments on revision of their corporate and securities laws.
Hanks received an AB degree from Princeton University; an LLB degree from the University of Maryland Law School, where he was an editor of the Maryland Law Review; and an LLM degree from Harvard Law School. During the 1967-68 term, he served as law clerk to Judge Charles Fahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.