Lawrence Cagney

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 

Lawrence K. Cagney is Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group. He designs compensation plans and programs for public and private companies and assists them with related SEC reporting requirements and tax issues. Mr. Cagney also represents companies and individuals in structuring employment terms for senior executives as well as the unwind of such arrangements.

In addition, Mr. Cagney advises financial services clients and investment funds on the fiduciary responsibility provisions of ERISA with respect to the investment of pension plan assets, including VCOC, REDC and other plan assets issues.

Chambers USA ranks Mr. Cagney in the top-tier for employee benefits and executive compensation law, where clients note he is a “a world-class executive compensation expert” and say that he is “an amazing listener and is incredibly thoughtful;” others also note that “if he doesn’t have an answer to a problem, then there is no answer.”

Mr. Cagney is also recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 US, where he is “held in high regard on all matters relating to executive compensation” and described by clients as “incredibly knowledgeable and expert.”

Mr. Cagney is a frequent speaker and the author of numerous articles on executive compensation and issues pertaining to the investment under ERISA of plan assets by qualified employee benefit plans.

Mr. Cagney joined Debevoise in 1986.  He received his A.B. from Fordham University in 1978 and his J.D. from Georgetown Law School in 1981.


  • GoDaddy in its acquisition of Sellbrite, a management platform that enables brands & retailers to list and sell products effortlessly across multiple online sales channels and gain centralized control over inventory and orders.
  • Principal Financial Group in its $1.2 billion acquisition of Wells Fargo & Company’s Institutional Retirement & Trust business.
  • Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities Group in its strategic minority investment in Annexus, a leading designer of annuities and insurance-based retirement products.
  • AXA and AXA Equitable Holdings on the initial public offering of AXA Equitable Holdings on the New York Stock Exchange for approximately $4 billion, and AXA Equitable Holdings in its offering and sale of $3.8 billion of senior notes.
  • Solenis, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company, in its combination with BASF’s paper and water chemicals business.
  • Pitney Bowes in the sale of its global production mail business to Platinum Equity.
    International Paper in the $1.8 billion combination of its North America Consumer Packaging business with Graphic Packaging.
    Verizon Communications in its $3.1 billion acquisition of Straight Path
  • Communications, a leading wireless spectrum holder.
  • Tribune Media Company in its $6.6 billion sale, later terminated, to Sinclair Broadcast Group.
  • Greater Media in its $240 million sale to Beasley Broadcast Group.
  • Verizon Communications in its acquisition of Telogis, a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology and services, specifically in the connected vehicle and mobile enterprise management sectors.
  • International Paper in its $2.2 billion acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business.
    Verizon Communications in its $1.8 billion acquisition of XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business.
  • Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in its $153 million acquisition of IHC Risk Solutions and its direct employer stop loss business from Independence Holding Company.
  • Guardian Life in its sale of RS Investments to Victory Capital.
  • Guardian Life in the acquisition by its subsidiary, Reed Group, of the absence management administration business of Aon Hewitt.
  • Activision Blizzard in its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital Entertainment.
  • Apollo Global Management in its acquisition of a majority interest in the asset management business of AR Capital (subsequently withdrawn), its acquisition of the wholesale distribution business of RCS Capital and its substantial minority equity investment in RCS Capital.
  • StanCorp Financial Group in its $5 billion sale to Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company.
  • Independent Committee of the Board of Directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in its $365 million sale to Sequential Brands.
  • The Board of Directors of Sotheby’s in the structuring and negotiation of an employment agreement with Thomas S. Smith, entered into on his appointment as Sotheby’s Chief Executive Officer.
  • JAB Holdings, the controlling shareholder of Coty, in the structuring and implementation of a new equity compensation program for Elio Leoni Sceti, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Coty, and several of his direct reports.
  • The Financial Services Roundtable with regard to the analysis of the DOL’s proposed changes regarding who is a fiduciary under ERISA and the Code.
  • The Compensation Committee of the Walt Disney Company in renewing the employment agreement of Robert Iger, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.
  • Verizon Communications in the $10.54 billion sale of its local wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications.
  • Prudential Financial Inc. with regard to executive compensation matters.
    Tribune Media Company in its spin-off of Tribune Publishing Company.
  • Various private equity investment fund sponsors, including HarbourVest Partners, with regard to their duties and responsibilities under ERISA.
  • Northwestern Mutual in its $2.7 billion sale of Russell Investments to the London Stock Exchange Group.
  • Protective Life in its $5.7 billion merger with a subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life, a life insurance company listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.
  • TIAA-CREF in its $6.25 billion acquisition of Nuveen Investments, a diversified investment management company with $221 billion in assets under management.
  • Allianz Global Investors in regard to the structure and implementation of an equity incentive program for executives at PIMCO, its U.S. based asset management subsidiary.
  • AXA Financial in the $1.06 billion sale of MONY Life Insurance Company and reinsurance of an in-force book of life insurance policies to Protective Life Insurance Company.
  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Dell in the financing aspects of the $24.9 billion sale of Dell to an investor group including Michael Dell and Silver Lake.
  • W.P. Carey, a leader in structuring real estate financing transactions, in a wide array of employment and executive compensation related matters.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, 1981, J.D.
  • Fordham University, 1978, A.B.

Bar Admissions:

  • New York


Rate : $$$

What types of cases Attorney Lawrence Cagney & Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  can handle?
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  can handle cases related to laws concerning Financial Services, Corporate, Tax, Employee Benefits. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
Where is Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  located?
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  is located at 919 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA. You can reach out to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP  using their phone line 212 909 6909. You can also check their website or email them at [email protected].
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