Yelena Dunaevsky

Senior Vice President & Partner


Woodruff Sawyer

Yelena is a Partner & SVP at Woodruff Sawyer, one of the largest independent insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the US. She advises clients on M&A- and IPO-related insurance solutions, including representations and warranties insurance (RWI) and D&O insurance for public companies and SPACs.

Yelena is a frequent speaker and author, featured in many publications including S&P Global, Yahoo Finance, Reuters, Investment News Today, Business Law Today, Law360,, Business Journal and Bloomberg. She won the JD Supra top author award in M&A in 2023 and 2022. Yelena also serves as the M&A managing editor of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Today and is the executive editor of the SPAC Notebook, a blog series that covers SPACs and SPAC risks.

In 2022, Yelena was named in Insurance Business America's "Hot 100," which lists top professionals whose contributions have helped shape the insurance industry.

Prior to Woodruff Sawyer, Yelena practiced as a senior capital markets associate at Clifford Chance and a corporate associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae (later Dewey & LeBoeuf) and earned her BS in Economics from Cornell University and her JD from Fordham University School of Law.


3:55 PM - 4:40 PM

Wednesday June 12, 2024

Is SPAC a Four-Letter Word? SPAC Comeback on the Horizon

  • SPAC ups and downs with a review of the SPAC and deSPAC market
  • Due diligence tips for successful SPACs, risks to watch for, common pitfalls
  • How are recent deSPACs likely to fare in the next year or two?
11:25 AM - 12:10 PM

Wednesday June 28, 2023

Designing SPAC Transactions to Minimize Risk

  • The role of due diligence in mitigating SPAC lawsuits
  • Why transparency = longevity in the SPAC market
  • Investor support begins with good investor communication
  • Why you want an independent financial advisor’s input
  • Handling SEC scrutiny and reporting outcomes to investors
9:55 AM - 10:15 AM

Wednesday June 15, 2022

SPAC Litigation: Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional

  • The most alarming types of cases
  • Notable trends
  • Case studies: Avoid mistakes others have already made
  • Insurance as a defense litigation tool?
  • Our SPAC crystal ball
11:15 AM - 11:35 AM

Wednesday June 23, 2021

Will Immunovant’s Insurance Policies Protect it from Litigation & Lessons for other SPACs

  • Understanding which policy covers what: Representations and Warranties Insurance (RWI) vs D&O insurance
  • Is D&O insurance optional and why is it so expensive?
  • Why use or avoid RWI in a SPAC business combination
  • Trends in claims and litigation in D&O and RWI
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