Distinguished Visiting Professor from PracticePhone: (410) 244-7500
James J. Hanks, Jr. is a partner with the 650-lawyer firm of Venable LLP, with offices in Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. He received his A.B. from Princeton University; his LL.B. from the University of Maryland Law School, where he was an editor of the Maryland Law Review; and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School. For a year after receiving his LL.B., Jim was law clerk to Judge Charles Fahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Jim has advised buyers or sellers in more than 250 mergers or acquisitions, many valued at more than U. S. $1 billion. He has also represented parties in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions. Jim regularly serves as independent counsel to boards of directors and board committees major U.S. companies and as an expert witness in connection with significant transactions, stockholder litigation, conflicts of interest and corporate governance issues. Jim also advises governments on revision of their corporate and securities laws.
For many years, Jim was a Senior Lecturer at Northwestern Law School, Visiting Senior Lecturer of Management at the Cornell Graduate School of Management and Visiting Professor of Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, where he has taught securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He has also taught short courses and classes in corporation law and governance at various law and business schools in the United States, China, South Africa, Guatemala, Zambia and the Republic of Georgia.
Jim is the author of the definitive 800-page treatise Maryland Corporation Law (supplemented annually) and the co-author (with former Stanford Law School Dean Bayless Manning) of the fourth edition of Legal Capital (Foundation Press 2013). He is the author of several law review articles and a frequent speaker on corporation law and governance issues. Jim is also co-editor of the Handbook for the Conduct of Shareholders’ Meetings. He has been actively involved in the revision of the Maryland General Corporation Law, the Maryland REIT Law, the Model Business Corporation Act, the Corporate Director’s Guidebook and the Fund Director’s Guidebook. He is a member of The American Law Institute.
For many years, Jim has appeared in The Best Lawyers in America in three categories: Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, Corporate Law, and Mergers and Acquisitions Law. He is also named as a “Star Individual” in the current edition of Chambers USA for Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, Maryland (Band 1) and for Capital Markets: REITS, Nationwide (Band 1). In 2008, Jim received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award of the Maryland State Bar Association Section of Business Law. In 2012, Jim was named the fifth (and first American) recipient of the Honorary Medal of Bucerius Law School, presented by the former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Schmidt, and also was elected to first place in The Daily Record's Leadership in Law Award for 2012. In 2015, Jim received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.
Jim is married to Sabine Senoner, of Kitzbühel, Austria, and they have an utterly charming daughter, Maria Dorothy, age twelve, who will talk your head off in German or English.