Chris is a seasoned corporate and securities lawyer who helps public companies overcome their most significant legal issues. He is a partner in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group and Chair of the Firm’s Public Company Advisors Team, a multi-office team of corporate, capital markets, and tax attorneys who serve the Firm’s public-company clients.

In the boardroom, Chris counsels boards of directors on leading-edge and highly confidential transactional and governance matters and special committee investigations. He is experienced in public and private mergers and acquisitions, takeover preparedness, shareholder activism and executive compensation. With governance and strategic transactions at the core of his practice, Chris also advises private equity sponsors and significant investors in fund formation and investment activities, and private companies in transactions with venture capital and private equity funds.

Chris helps his clients succeed by understanding their businesses and sharply focusing the myriad of legal issues through a lens of practical, strategic legal advice. He has been recognized by Chambers USA (Mergers & Acquisitions) and received a Client Choice Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel and Lexology in recognition of his commitment to outstanding client service.

In addition to his legal practice, Chris speaks and writes on areas relating to his professional interests. He has served as a corporate governance panelist alongside current and former Vice Chancellors of the Delaware Court of Chancery and moderated panels on shareholder activism and mergers and acquisitions for the National Association of Corporate Directors (Carolinas Chapter). Chris contributed two chapters to the Director's Handbook: A Field Guide to 101 Situations Commonly Encountered in the Boardroom (ABA Publishing 2017) and is co-author of several publications with noted governance scholar Charles Elson. Chris is an Adjunct Law Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he teaches Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance courses, and has guest-lectured on mergers and acquisitions and private equity at the Duke University School of Law and the Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management.

Publications

  • Charles M. Elson & Christopher J. Gyves, In re Caremark: Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences, 39 Wake Forest L. Rev. 691 (2004). 
  • Charles M. Elson & Christopher J. Gyves, The Enron Failure and Corporate Governance Reform, 38 Wake Forest L. Rev. 855 (2003). 
  • Charles M. Elson & Christopher J. Gyves, Five Red Flags Over Texas: The Enron Failure and Corporate Governance Reform in Corporate Governance: A Guide to Corporate Accountability (Henry A. Davis ed., 2003).

Honors and Awards

Chambers USA 2018 Ranked Lawyer, Corporate: M&A, North Carolina

Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Represented Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. in its $1.35 billion sale to JAB Holding.
  • Advised public company boards of directors with respect to activist shareholder matters including takeover preparedness and structural defenses (such as shareholder rights plans or “poison pills”), including in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
  • Advised the board of directors of a NASDAQ-listed company in its internal investigation and other matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Successfully advised a public company through a complete corporate governance turnaround leading to the company being recognized by Corporate Secretary Magazine for outstanding corporate governance and proxy disclosure.
  • Represented NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company in public offerings of equity, and international and domestic private placements of equity (pre- and post-IPO).
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Bar admissions

North Carolina

Education

  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law
    • James and Marie Mason Scholarship
    • Symposium Editor, Wake Forest Law Review
  • M.B.A., Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management
  • B.S., Davidson College
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