Louis Begley, now retired, had been a partner with the firm since 1968. His practice involved, principally, representation of US and foreign clients in international corporate transactions. Mr. Begley's practice was focused on structuring, negotiating and carrying through to conclusion corporate acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and partnerships, as well as long-term supply contracts, distribution arrangements and licensing agreements. The transactions in which he acted as lead counsel were centered in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. 

In addition to such transactional work, Mr. Begley acted as a general legal adviser to corporations, as an adviser to wealthy families in their business affairs and as trustee for certain family trusts. He has been involved in international arbitrations as counsel and as an arbitrator. Mr. Begley was also experienced in the defense of foreign corporations in administrative and criminal proceedings brought against them in the US.

Mr. Begley is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is Chevalier of L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He is a past President and Trustee of PEN American Center and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Advocate. Mr. Begley joined Debevoise & Plimpton in 1959 and was in the firm’s Paris office from early 1965 until the fall of 1968.

He received his A.B. in 1954 from Harvard College summa cum laude and his LL.B in 1959 from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. He has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. degree by the University of Heidelberg.

Mr. Begley is the author of 10 novels, including Wartime Lies (1991), About Schmidt (1997) and Memories of a Marriage (2013), two books of non-fiction, “The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head: Franz Kafka” and “Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters,” as well as many articles published in various periodicals. He has received numerous awards for his literary work, including the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, Prix Médicis Etranger, The Irish Times-Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. 


  • Harvard Law School, 1959, LL.B.
  • Harvard University, 1954, A.B.

Bar Admissions

  • New York