Michael Blair

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 

$ $$$

New York 10022 NY US

Michael W. Blair is the firm’s Presiding Partner. Mr. Blair has served as lead counsel in a host of major M&A transactions, advised senior executives and boards of directors on governance matters and handled securities transactions for clients across a range of industries. Mr. Blair joined Debevoise in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1977 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981.

Mr. Blair is a Director of The Partnership for New York City and of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a Trustee of the Smith Richardson Foundation, a member of The Economic Club of New York and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


  • The supervisory board of ABN Amro in its €72 billion combination with a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland (the IFLR 2008 Europe Awards named this transaction “M&A Deal of the Year”), and the $21 billion sale of its LaSalle Bank subsidiary to Bank of America.
  • Phelps Dodge in obtaining merger control approval in the EU, and various other jurisdictions globally, in respect of in its $26 billion merger with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, forming the world’s largest publicly traded copper company.
  • Phelps Dodge in its $40 billion merger (later terminated) with Canadian mining companies Inco and Falconbridge.
  • AXA Financial in the sale of its 70% interest in Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to Credit Suisse as part of an $11.5 billion transaction.
  • Justice Gary S. Stein, as trustee and conservator of the Tropicana Atlantic City, in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of Tropicana Entertainment LLC and the sale of the Atlantic City casino.
  • AXA Financial in the $9.2 billion sale of the remaining 40% in AXA Financial to AXA S.A. that AXA S.A. did not already own.
  • The special committee of Tower Group’s board of directors in Tower’s $530 million acquisition of CastlePoint Holdings.
  • The Special Committee of Independent Directors of Highbury Financial in Highbury’s acquisition of an interest in Aston Asset Management from Aston’s management.
  • Phelps Dodge in its simultaneous unsolicited exchange offers for Cyprus Amax Minerals Company and Asarco in what is believed to be the only such “double-hostile” transaction ever attempted, and its ultimate $1.8 billion acquisition of Cyprus Amax.
  • U.S. Life in its $1.8 billion merger with American General.
  • Phelps Dodge in its $600 million sale of Columbian Chemical Company to One Equity Partners, an affiliate of JP Morgan Chase, and DC Chemical, a South Korean chemical company.
  • Thames Water in its $923 million acquisition of E’Town Corporation.


  • University of Chicago Law School, 1981, J.D.
  • Yale University, 1977, B.A.

Bar Admissions:

  • New York


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