Corporate Governance

A Blend of Fine Judgment and Deep Technical Experience

The Debevoise Corporate Governance Group helps management and boards navigate some of the most challenging legal terrain in the world.

In today’s world, senior management and boards of corporations large and small face challenges on many fronts. Intricate securities and stock exchange requirements, evolving fiduciary principles, litigious stakeholders, a new breed of activist investors and the need to oversee increasingly complex organizations and businesses confront managers and directors, and their advisors, with daunting risks and obstacles. The Debevoise Corporate Governance Group combines the talents and skills required to manage those risks, avoid those obstacles and make tough commercial decisions with confidence.

The Group includes M&A and general corporate lawyers, lawyers from the firm’s securities and executive compensation team as well as litigators and white collar defense lawyers – all of them with decades of experience counseling and defending boards and senior managers. The team is equally at home in a contested M&A deal, a proxy fight, a board’s internal investigation or high-stakes litigation. It counsels companies on how to deal with activists, ways to manage risks, appropriate responses to corporate crises, the design of compliance programs, and processes for making critical strategic decisions with appropriate input, vigorous analysis and minimal risk.

Clients include major corporations and private equity houses, executives and boards and board committees. The practice stays abreast of governance best practices; makes liberal use of experts in the accounting, consulting and public relations arenas; and prides itself on giving real-world, actionable advice that allows decision-makers to do their jobs.

Whether the Group is designing the governance structure of a new public company, defending high-stakes litigation, conducting an independent investigation for a board committee, counseling a board responding to a shareholder demand, representing a special committee in an M&A transaction or shareholder derivative suit or managing the response to a proxy campaign, it brings a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to the task – relying on the firm’s deep experience in myriad disciplines and its global experience.